ASEAN-China trade potential drives Geodis to further invest and expand its Road Network from Singapore to China
(Photo: Geodis)

Geodis, the logistics company of SNCF, is targeting the Asian market with its latest move to further expand its Road Network from South East Asia to China, linking Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and China.

With this decision, Geodis is strategically investing in capacity and infrastructure in Asia as a way to further boost the company’s business growth in the region.

On 23 August, Geodis officially launched its Road Network from Southeast Asia to Shenzhen, China, which will later be extended to Hong Kong and in the near future to further expand its southern outskirts, connecting to Indonesia via road + sea intermodal transport.

Geodis said that they have adopted IoT technology and equipment in their Road Network for the secure movement of goods for the hi-tech, semiconductor, automotive, engineering, retail and Fast-Moving Consumer Goods sectors. Geodis has also invested in increasing the frequency of transport services and in enhancing the capacity of specialised customs clearance and trade compliance teams at the main border crossings to facilitate a seamless flow of goods.

In addition, Geodis’ Road Network connects to major air and sea ports, providing customers with a wide range of intermodal transport options to meet the challenges of today’s fast-changing environment and their need for an agile and flexible supply chain.

ASEAN-China trade growth

ASEAN-China trade has grown rapidly in recent years, highlighting the important role of logistics in facilitating trade. Road transport has become one of the fastest growing modes of transport in the ASEAN freight market, with countries such as Thailand and Vietnam looking to further invest in infrastructure to develop their cross-border trade with China.

In 1991, China and ASEAN officially launched a dialogue process. Over the past 30 years, China-ASEAN relations have grown significantly, with bilateral trade growing from less than US$8 billion in 1991 to US$975.34 billion in 2022, just one step away from US$1 trillion. China and ASEAN have been each other’s largest trading partners for three consecutive years.

In the first seven months of this year, total imports and exports between China and ASEAN reached 3.59 trillion yuan, up 2.8 per cent year-on-year, accounting for 15.3 per cent of China’s total trade.

On the other hand, from the perspective of the international environment, the “China+1” supply chain strategy adopted by European and American companies is accelerating the creation of industrial value chains in Southeast Asia. European and American companies are setting up factories in Southeast Asia, and Chinese companies are also accelerating their layout in Southeast Asia, on the one hand, to strive for better conditions and serve the local market, and on the other hand, to reasonably avoid potential geopolitical and sanctions risks.

Such changes in industrial layout will also lead to further flows of raw materials and products between the Chinese and Southeast Asian markets.

Geodis expects the size of Asia Pacific’s expanding logistics industry to reach US$4.5 trillion by 2029, with a projected growth of 5.24 per cent from 2023 to 2029.

“ASEAN and China are two of the fastest growing economies in the world. As the region remains poised for growth, GEODIS sees the extension of our Road Network to China as an opportunity to enhance our multimodal solutions and connectivity across major air hubs and seaports to give customers greater flexibility and reliability. We have made significant investments to our security, infrastructure and capabilities to ensure a safe and efficient flow of goods for our customers. Ultimately, we want to provide them with a competitive advantage to grow their business,” said Onno Boots, Regional President and CEO of GEODIS Asia Pacific and Middle East.

In terms of security, Geodis’ GPS-tracked, sensor-equipped containers, prime movers and trailers, with a dedicated command centre monitoring the Road Network 24/7/365, provide real-time, end-to-end visibility of the physical location of freight. Customers can access automatic updates on the progress of their freight shipments, including the status of shipments at border crossings, through Geodis’ freight management solutions.

The Road Network will be equipped with industry-first truck safety and driver assistance features such as brake assist, stability control assist, hill hold assist and driver fatigue monitoring, to ensure utmost safety of people, vehicle and cargo.

Geodis is also committed to loading and transporting cargo in double-deck containers, contributing to economic, operational and environmental performance through improved efficiency, and reducing carbon emissions through its new prime mover truck fleet.