The logistics sector, though dynamic, frequently faces challenges and adaptations due to global events, which have the potential to transform the industry.. These challenges sometimes highlight innovative approaches to multimodal transportation, sustainability initiatives, and digital transformations by logistics service providers..
Shipping and Freight Resource caught up with Jeffrey Shih, newly appointed CEO of Dimerco Express Group as part of the Executive Insights series to discuss these challenges along with principles of effective leadership, personal growth, and the value of nurturing talent within the demanding logistics landscape..
Jeffrey Shih reveals insights and strategies crucial for both aspiring leaders and established industry professionals..
SFR: Good day Jeffrey, could you pls provide a brief background into your shipping journey with Dimerco Express Group..??
JS : I joined Dimerco in 1988 at our headquarters in Taipei, Taiwan. Guided by the advice of our Founder and Chairman, who taught me the importance of creating my own value in any role and at any place, I had the pivotal opportunity to move to San Francisco in 1991. This advice became my career mantra and shaped my personal leadership philosophy.
My experiences working in several countries over the last 3 decades, allowed me to learn a lot and refine my distinctive leadership style. Today, I am ready to lead Dimerco to the next level by combining the Asian management style with Western leadership principles. This approach is focused on driving value to our customers, and our team, and elevating the company in the logistics industry, where we’ve been active for over 52 years.
SFR: With your extensive experience, what are the major changes you’ve witnessed in the logistics industry, and how has Dimerco adapted..??
JS: Digitalization is key, and this has been highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Dimerco’s transition to cloud-based systems ensured we could operate seamlessly from anywhere. This transition and our technological advancements allowed Dimerco to hit a record high in 2021-2022 in our company’s 50+ year history.
SFR: What’s your strategic vision for Dimerco, particularly concerning expansion and enhancing logistics services..??
JS: During my time with the company, we’ve expanded across 17 countries, focusing especially on the major economic zones of China, Southeast Asia and the United States.
Our objective is to enhance America’s competitiveness, especially under the current trade tensions between China and the U.S. Despite these challenges, I firmly believe that cooperation between these two global economic powers is essential.
Currently, over 80% of our offices are in the Asia Pacific region, but the U.S. market is equally important for our growth. It is crucial for us to expand in the U.S. if we want to become a leading international logistics and service provider. This expansion is not just a business strategy but a necessity for us to evolve and succeed at the next level.
SFR: How do you plan to navigate the current fluctuations in freight rates and convert some of the current market conditions into opportunities..??
JS: As you are aware, recent global events, like the conflict between Russia and Ukraine and tensions in the Red Sea regions have significantly impacted our operations.
At Dimerco, we’ve positioned ourselves uniquely in connecting Asia with the world, leveraging our professionalism, teamwork, and flexibility with the ability to adapt – which is crucial, especially in these times of crises.
For instance, in response to recent disruptions, we’ve been able to offer innovative solutions. This includes utilizing Sea-Air via Dubai or Cross Border Train Freight from China to European countries and navigating around these crises. This strategy not only addresses immediate challenges but also reinforces our long-term position in the market.
Dimerco’s focus is on being a bridge between Asia and global markets and our long-term development strategy is firmly rooted in this role of connecting Asia with the rest of the world.
SFR: With technologies like AI transforming the supply chain, how is Dimerco enhancing visibility and control for customers..??
JS: At Dimerco, we’ve developed our own patented system called Dimerco Value Plus System® which services air freight, ocean freight, and contract logistics including multimodal transportation options.
This system is entirely developed and designed in-house and offers complete visibility into all modes of transportation, available to any customer with internet access.
Our system’s web-based nature allows for seamless integration into enterprise systems like SAP or Oracle, using EDI or API processes. We’re also incorporating AI technology and the Internet of Things to enhance our internal processes, focusing on productivity and efficiency.
SFR: Considering the evolving nature of third-party logistics, what’s the future for providers like Dimerco?
JS: The industry will continue to see mergers and acquisitions, and companies must adapt to remain competitive. Major players in the industry including shipping lines are striving to become integrators, engaging in numerous mergers and acquisitions.
These changes have shown that no single agent or freight forwarding company can monopolize the global business. However, the logistics industry remains crucial, and even traditional transportation businesses are still experiencing expansive markets with plenty of opportunities.
Mergers and acquisitions are increasingly common, including among large freight forwarding companies. This is part of Dimerco’s strategy as well, especially in our efforts to grow in the United States.
SFR: Sustainability is crucial to our industry.. How does Dimerco balance growth with sustainable and ethical operations..??
JS: The foundation of our system is digitalization, which has significantly reduced paperwork over the last 15 to 20 years. As we approach 2030, our ambitious but necessary goal is to reduce CO2 emissions by 18%. This target is particularly relevant for our own offices, as we operate over 150 of them globally.
Our strategy includes a strong focus on utilizing and transitioning to 100% renewable energy. We’re aligning with many other companies and countries in this commitment, aiming to significantly reduce our reliance on non-renewable energy sources by 2050.
SFR: Finally, what advice would you offer aspiring CEOs or newcomers in the industry..??
JS: Create your own value, surround yourself with talented people, empower them to drive innovation, and always seek improvement. Embrace creativity, take initiative, and continually learn and adapt to lead effectively in this dynamic industry.
It’s not just about fulfilling your role in the company but about bringing your own creativity and initiative to everything you do. This means thinking beyond day-to-day tasks and company policies to demonstrate your passion for the industry.
SFR: Thank you for sharing your insights and vision, Jeffrey.. We wish you and Dimerco continued success and growth. Enjoy the rest of your day..
JS: Thank you so much.. I’m looking forward to leading Dimerco into the future..