Can you tell us about your background in the chemical industry and logistics?
I joined the industry in 1998 and have been with Suttons ever since. I relocated from Germany to Singapore 12 years ago and have worked in many various positions across the business. Currently I am the Regional Director for Southeast Asia and the Middle East.
What current factors are impacting the chemical logistics market in Southeast Asia and the Middle East?
The demand for chemical transportation in tank containers seems to remain stable in most parts of the region despite the current macro-economic challenges. We see strong demand in certain countries where we face a shortage of equipment, whilst others are experiencing volume reductions. It also appears that other operators are shifting their focus towards Asia which has resulted in increased competition.
How do you foresee these factors impacting the Southeast Asia market throughout the next year and beyond and how are Suttons reacting to these impacts?
We have experienced similar economic cycles before, and we believe that our operating model remains resilient. For us it is key to satisfy our customers needs and support them with their supply chain challenges. We further focus on growing our dedicated Intra Asia fleet that we only operate within APAC. This has proven to provide us with more supply reliability then depending on equipment arriving from the Western hemisphere.
We have also invested heavily in strengthening our teams across the region and we are looking to further expanding our network of own offices.
One of the most challenging issues right now are container depot congestions across the region due to a large influx of empty tank containers being positioned into Asia, as well as off-hires being done by leasing companies. This is creating a bottleneck which is affecting both our import and export operations.
Are there any examples of what customers can expect from Suttons in response to the current market trends?
Our customers will continue to enjoy working with a dedicated and highly motivated team of tank container experts.
To further improve our service, we have started publishing regular net promoter surveys to allow us to get feedback from clients in real time, rather than waiting for the next meeting with them.
We are working closely with our container depots to ensure that any disruptions from the current congestion situation are mitigated. We are confident to be able to handle the situation due to the long-standing partnerships we have with our business partners, who are doing their utmost to support Suttons and our customers.