Adapting to Market Dynamics: Interview with Amy Do on International Forwarding in Southeast Asia

We continue our series on the growth plans of Ahlers Logistics in Southeast Asia. In today’s interview, Amy Do, Business Development Manager, reveals insights on navigating complex industries and addressing emerging trends in the region. From targeting growing sectors to embracing sustainability, learn how Ahlers adapts to dynamic market dynamics for success in forwarding.

    Key Focus & Challenges

    What is the key focus for Ahlers’ International Forwarding in Southeast Asia?

    Ahlers targets growing industries like consumer goods, industry, and chemicals due to their significant economic impact and special logistical requirements. Drawing on our experience in complex markets, we aim to expand in Southeast Asia as a top-notch international forwarder. In the consumer goods sector, we are skilled at handling ups and downs in demand and sorting out complex supply chains. For the chemicals sector, where strict regulations and specialized handling are critical, Ahlers offers tailor-made solutions that ensure compliance and safety. To sum it up, we are all about targeting industries on the rise, where we can solve their specific logistical challenges.

    What kind of challenges and prospects do you observe in the international forwarding in Vietnam?

    The logistics scene in Vietnam is highly competitive: there are over 3,000 companies, including global giants. Of course, many of these players already have solid customs expertise and customer ties, which might be a significant challenge to enter the market. On top of it, many of them have regional HQs across APAC region, but with the newly opened office in Ho Chi Minh City, Ahlers is expanding its footprint in Asia and enhancing proximity to stakeholders. Collaborating closely with our partner in Vietnam, we also leverage their resources and deep understanding of local nuances to deal with all operational challenges.  Additionally, as there are more foreign investments in Vietnam, international companies become more involved in the local purchasing decisions. By building strong relationships with them, Ahlers wants to become a trusted partner for their logistics needs.

    Market Dynamics

    Can you highlight some key trends/shifts in customer preferences and industry dynamics in the region and how Ahlers adapt to them?

    In general, the regional economy is growing thanks to its large working-age population, which fuels high labor participation and keeps dependency ratios quite low. At the same time, urbanization is on the rise, driving infrastructural development and expanding market horizons. Plus, there's a strong consumer demand for quality retail goods and services. Our approach is adaptable to fit the booming economies across Southeast Asia. Drawing on our experience in the complex markets like CIS, but also China, we understand this region better and bring European know-how to improve practices and meet the demand.

    On top of it, we're certainly noticing a big push towards sustainability in the market. Customers are looking for eco-friendly solutions in their supply chain. It's not just a trend – it's expected to become a government rule soon. We're taking this seriously and adjusting our sustainability strategy. We aim to become one of the top players in green logistics in Southeast Asia by offering efficient transport routes, monitoring and reducing CO2 emissions, and staying ahead of upcoming regulations