Our founder, Kelvin Lim was interviewed by Lianhe Zaobao recently where he shared the humble origins of our company, and what it took to bring it to where it is today. For him, the Covid-19 pandemic was a crisis, yet also an opportunity because the first major breakthrough in his career came in the wake of another epidemic – the SARS outbreak in 2003. In 2000, Mr. Lim and his wife rented a small office at Changi Airport to start up their company, and not long after, the SARS outbreak crisis came during 2003.
At that time, some customers continued their production business. Because of the SARS epidemic, their goods could not be shipped out temporarily and they urgently needed more storage spaces. He saw an opportunity and rented a small warehouse to help customers store their goods, which also opened up new businesses for PLG. Mr. Lim told Lianhe Zaobao: “There is a large American company that specialises in manufacturing valves for the maritime and oil drilling industries. After we took in their orders, not only did we store and pack valves, we did spray painting and sandblasting services for them. This opened up a one-stop service that is rare to find locally. So far, we haven’t come across any other logistics companies that do spray painting and sandblasting for their customers.”
He commented that at the time, the maritime industry was booming but the production process for the equipment was complex which involves many procedures and steps. “I thought I could find an opportunity to provide value-added services inside the cycle, so I didn’t mind the hassle and started providing this particular customer with the one-stop service, which includes painting and sandblasting. This opened many doors to opportunities and other suppliers including some competitors came to us for our services, giving me the chance to grow my business.”
17 years later, now, new opportunities have also emerged amid the Covid crisis for PLG.
During the circuit breaker period: Contributing to our nation’s essential supply chain
Mr. Lim said he received an inquiry around March, whether he is able to help businesses which include FairPrice NTUC, to find additional storage space and provide logistics and transportation services. As the country prepares for the pandemic interruption in April, businesses have to stock up on various necessities, needing more storage spaces and logistics support. After finding available cold storage space at a fishing farm in the area of Jurong, Mr. Lim acted as a middleman to provide end-to-end, one-stop logistics services to FairPrice supermarkets and other businesses, helping to ensure that the country’s market was well supplied with essential commodities in times of emergency.
“Up till now, our main customer market caters to large industrial manufacturers,” says Mr. Lim. “We took up this opportunity during the pandemic, to venture into new markets and provide logistics services to food and other necessities, while contributing our part to the society.” Works are in full swing at the future Tuas mega port in Singapore. Pacific Logistics Group was the first to station in, building a 700,000 square feet flagship logistics hub building as its Singapore headquarters, which opened in 2018.
Founded 20 years ago, Pacific Logistics Group is based in Singapore but is also present throughout the Asia Pacific market, and currently operates in over 11 countries. In February 2017, the Group established Yuxinou – a joint venture between PLG Multimodal Company Limited (YPL) and Chongqing-based Chinese company, Yuxinou, to operate the rail and freight business connecting Chongqing with Duisburg, Germany. This is one of the development projects of the China-Singapore (Chongqing) Strategic Connectivity Demonstration Project.
Although PLG is a minority shareholder in the joint venture, Mr. Lim, as the General Manager, is responsible for the operational management in the company. He said that as a Singapore company, PLG has accumulated over 20 years of experience in the air and ocean freight sector and has a comparative advantage in networking with overseas logistics operators. Using this advantage, the group set up a branch in Germany to handle the last-mile logistics and transportation of goods of the Yuxinou rail freight and has been profiting every year since 2017. Mr. Lim said, “When we went to Chongqing looking for opportunities, PLG, as a med-sized company then, was able to attain the opportunity to cooperate with China. The reason for that was because we are very active and eager. ”
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