With a solid foundation in the Asia Pacific logistics field, Kuehne + Nagel has advanced from a traditional international freight forwarder to a leading global logistics provider. By offering the best logistics solutions, the organisation has become an extension of its customers' businesses.
"We find a lot of opportunities from the vibrant business atmosphere as companies are outsourcing logistics functions to the experts," says Bjoern Johansson, director of human resources and legal affairs of Kuehne + Nagel (Asia Pacific) Management. "In doing so, they can concentrate on developing their core competence."
Having a global network in more than 100 countries with 48,000-plus staff, Kuehne + Nagel is well positioned to make the most of this trend. A key player in sea- and air logistics, the company has sustained year-on-year double-digit growth in freight under management, taking advantage of its extensive cooperation with prestigious carrier partners.
"Sea freight, airfreight, contract logistics and overland transportation form the four main pillars of our business. Enhancing quality in these service offerings is always our goal and a commitment that we aim at delivering to our customers," Dr Johansson points out.
To achieve this, the company's globally standardised IT platform "KN Login" (Kuehne + Nagel Logistics Information) is continuously enhanced. The information logistics system, which allows for the application of universal operating procedures regardless of the location of the workstations, provides secure access to information without limitations of time and geographic boundaries.
"With our globally standarised information system, a customer can check each transport movement across the supply chain on a synchronised display designed to align all customer interfaces, be it in China or Venezuela. As the backbone of our operation, this sophisticated IT system is constantly upgraded to better serve our customers' needs," Dr Johansson adds.
Kuehne + Nagel also emphasises improving reliability and product coverage across the regional network. For instance, it is the first company worldwide that is capable of controlling and monitoring door-to-door airfreight shipments on a fully automated basis in accordance with the stringent and quality-assured Cargo 2000's Phase-II criteria.
"Leveraging our innovative IT solutions, extensive network and infrastructure, and our expertise, we aim to maintain our leading role in the industry by providing the best solutions to customers. We do not always offer the cheapest mode of delivery but we tailor the most suitable solutions," Dr Johansson explains.
To establish long-term relationships with customers, Kuehne + Nagel is continuing to increase logistics functions for its current clientele as well as broadening its customer base. In the coming year it will focus on several niche markets that call for specialist services, such as hotel and beverages logistics.
Face the challenge
Recognising that a professional team is essential to the success of all businesses, Kuehne + Nagel has invested considerably in nurturing the next generation of logistics professionals. The company has its own worldwide training network, the Kuehne + Nagel Academy, which helps specialists and managers excel in new roles and outperform customer expectations.
According to Dr Johansson, in line with the constant transformation in the industry, the requirements for people working in it have been reviewed. Today, talent needs to be more academic since logical thinking is crucial in completing tasks effectively and efficiently.
In addition, candidates wanting to climb up the career ladder should possess an open mind and team spirit. They are also expected to work hard and perform well in a demanding climate in which challenges are inevitable.
"That's why working in the logistics industry is never boring, and it is truly a worldwide business. We are among the few companies that have a presence in more than a hundred countries," Dr Johansson says.
Due to rapid development of the industry, competition for talent has become more intense recently, especially for IT and operations staff. As a leader and an employer of choice in the field, Kuehne + Nagel has been making great efforts to promote the industry and offer ample career opportunities and versatility.
"Being an employee of Kuehne + Nagel translates to taking pioneering roles. But more than just a brand name, the company offers personal development as well as international exposure to the right people," Dr Johansson says.