APL Logistics is a mature supply chain business with a strong global network encompassing 6000 employees, with 260 locations in 60 countries, it is part of the NOL group which is listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange. The company was established over 65 years ago and its first Australian location was secured in 2001. Today, APL Logistics Australia operates offices in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, and Fremantle, in addition to a strong network of strategically located warehouse facilities.
The company’s initial focus was on serving existing global accounts, with priorities on further development of its international freight business, as well as the creation of a local network to complement its existing origin services. Director of Oceania, Mark Haslam, says “our aim at APL Logistics is to enable our customers to outperform their markets through reliable and innovative supply chain solutions. “We see ourselves as the lead logistic provider of choice.”
Today, APL Logistics’ supply chain management services cover international freight management (including ocean LCL/FCL) , air freight and cross border tracking; origin services, such as vendor, PO, booking, and carrier management; customs and trade compliance, warehousing and distribution, logistics engineering and solution design, hub services, and supply chain technology solutions.
The strategy of APL Logistics is to focus on its four core industry verticals; retail, consumer, industrial, and automotive, in addition to maintaining its long-standing relationship with the Australian Department of Defence in the provision of solutions for offshore movements and local deployments. Director of Oceania, Mark Haslam states “these are segments where we have an established presence and an existing network and infrastructure to leverage growth globally.” The success of APL Logistics can be attributed to the company’s solution-orientated approach, in which results are tailored to meet the individual needs of any customer.
Acutely aware of the environmental impact of its business operations, APL Logistics has implemented a number of tools to aid in its management, including its adoption of Lean in 2013 as its productivity and continuous improvement methodology. “With Lean, we aim to further improve work processes by identifying and eliminating wastes within our business,” says Mr Haslam. “To be successful, we have to evolve our mind-set, and constantly find new ways of doing things better.” Mark feels that the company’s drive towards greater efficiency will help to deliver greater operating results. APL Logistics team members have already begun applying principles such as 5S in their daily work. “We are now starting to see tangible results in increased productivity, as well as a reduction in operating costs and waste.”
The relationships that APL Logistics builds and maintains, both within the industry and with its clients, are vital components to the success of the business. “The glue that holds our industry together is the spider web of relationships we have formed with our team, customers, suppliers, associations and networking peers,” Mark says. “It’s my experience these relationships quickly turn to friendships.” In addition to the company’s close business ties, APL Logistics has also fostered a strong connection with the community, and has contributed to and participated in a number of charities, including Sailability, an organisation dedicated to facilitating sailing for the disabled, as well as a variety of events, including Singapore Day and the Sydney City to Surf.
APL Logistics has also been the recipient of a wide variety of industry awards and commendations, including the Netgear Distribution Partner Award and the Newell Rubbermaid Strategic Partner Award. APL Logistics has also ranked within the Top 100 Supply Chain Partners with Supply Chain Brain, and within the Top 100 3PL Providers with Inbound Logistics.
Mark feels that a number of challenges will become increasingly prevalent within the industry over the coming years, most notably the connection between the supply chain and the customer experience. Such developments open the industry to new offerings for order delivery and fulfilment options, providing end consumers with a seamless shopping experience. Mr Haslam also notes the growing presence of visual technology as a tool to help manage complex global supply chains, ensuring optimisation of inventory management while efficiently meeting ever-changing customer demand.
“I’ve been in the industry for 24 years and I love what I’m doing,” says Mark. “I’m well supported by a strong team and organisation that empowers a strong customer service and work ethic. I’m lucky as my role allows me to drill down into many different industries and supply chains, giving me the ability to learn and grow with our existing and potential customers.” Mark believes that fostering a proactive, solution-seeking culture is the key to success of the company’s strategy, and he strives to empower APL Logistics employees to make responsible decisions and assume accountability within their area of responsibility.