Taking advantage of its unique position in the Pearl River Delta, the logistics industry in Hong Kong is developing a strong momentum.
As the factories based in China continue to grow, follow-on import and export volumes create an increasing demand for transportation systems.
To gain a share of this growing pie, more logistics services providers have been attracted from around the world. One of them is Senator International Logistics Limited, a company with its headquarters in Germany. Since this spring, it has joined the local economy by setting up an office and hiring resident employees.
Senator started off with 14 staff but has quickly entered its second phase of manpower intake, which necessitates additional sales, freight forwarding and logistics posts. "So far, the business in Hong Kong picks up as expected and therefore the office is expanding as planned," Jochen Krug, managing director, Senator International Logistics Limited notes. "We have received more than 460 applications for 18 openings. This recruitment has successfully strengthened the total workforce."
On the rise
To account for the large applicant response, Mr Krug believes that the recruits have confidence in both the industry as a whole as well as Senator's specific prospects. "In fact, we get excellent support from our parent company. The budget for building up the workplace here, for instance, is not limited." Mr Krug points out. "Besides the physical setting, our people enjoy many freedoms because of our streamlined management structure. We have an open, flexible and friendly work style which welcomes input and ideas from all staff."
Keeping a keen eye on the market development, Senator is taking a step-by-step approach in its growth plan. Currently, the company has a mix of experienced and semi-experienced personnel in its HR profile. These qualified people bring in industry expertise that is a must for the initial development stage of the company. In the second half of 2007, Senator will increase its headcount to a total of 20. All new joiners will be provided with introductory sessions on the company background and its IT system, as well as hands-on operations.
"When the company is more established, we will be more involved in activities where we can contribute to training for the sector as a whole," Mr Krug adds. "Next year, we will participate in vocational training programmes including a two-year diploma programme jointly organised by the German Chamber of Commerce and the German Swiss International School to foster talent in transport and logistics management." The trainees, who must attain proficiency in German, attend classes for two days of theory and work in a company for three days of practical experience.
Hurdles in talent hunt
Mr Krug believes it's the people in a logistics company determine its competitiveness. "Only by offering quality services can Senator outperform its many competitors. We need to provide our customers with individualised solutions that meet high standards. So, we need people who can go the extra mile to achieve this goal," he remarks.
People who want to make a career in the industry should be prepared to work hard. Since clients from different time zones will need assistance around the clock, service providers have to work odd hours.
"Everyday, we face many changes and challenges. But they are the elements that make the jobs interesting," Mr Krug concludes. "Therefore, the logistics industry is a place for people with an open-mind."