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New challenge New chance

Released at: 16:58, 17/12/2017

New challenge New chance

Photo: Viet Tuan

Mr. Tran Hieu Nghia, General Director of the Hoang Ha International Logistics JSC, talks about the company’s preparations for upcoming changes within global logistics.

The US finally agreed to import star-apple fruit from Vietnam in September. What are your thoughts on this?

This is truly excellent news for Vietnam. After decade-long negotiations, star-apple joins longan, rambutan, lychee, and dragon fruit on the list of Vietnamese fruit allowed to enter the US. Furthermore, Vietnamese lychee, mango, and dragon fruit have steadily gained popularity in Australian grocery stores; one of the world’s most fastidious markets. The two new markets, along with Northeast Asian markets such as Japan and Taiwan, not only unlock a great opportunity for Vietnamese agricultural exporters but also open up huge chances for local logistic companies taking part in global agricultural supply chains.

Are there any special requirements for Vietnamese fruit to be exported to other countries?

Of course. Each country has different criteria, procedures, and regulations for commodities imported into their market. For example, every single fresh fruit shipment sent to the US must be irradiated at an authorized factory under the supervision of an Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) inspector in the country of origin and must be packed following HACCP standards, with a Production Unit Code (PUC), a Treatment Facility Code (TFC), and a Packing House Code (PHC). For Japan and Taiwan, fresh fruit must be treated through Vapor Heat Treatment (VHT) at factories licensed by Vietnam’s Plant Protection Department (PPD).

Moreover, maintaining quality and maximizing the shelf life of products must be taken into account. Therefore, temperatures must be strictly monitored and steadily controlled in processing, packing, storing, and handling. We call this the Cool Supply Chain.

From your point of view, what role do forwarders play in global supply chains?

Being a forwarder means we play an important role in connecting every participant in the global logistics market by regularly updating them on the newest information, regulations, and policies, not only in Vietnam but also in other destinations, to provide appropriate advice to Vietnamese suppliers and exporters to conquer new markets. This will help to optimize the distribution processes based on existing products and to promote the efficiency and competitiveness of Vietnamese enterprises in international markets.

Furthermore, the advantage of being a forwarder is having capabilities in data and information exchange between each component of the production process, which allow us to gain an overview of consumption in each market to evaluate and forecast new logistics trends in order to coordinate closely with transport providers to secure adequate space at the most reasonable rate. This maximizes productivity and benefits every participant in the logistics supply chain. 
What have been some of your company’s milestones?

 Established in 1992, we are proud to be one of the first freight forwarding companies in Vietnam to specialize in perishable goods, including but not limited to live seafood and fresh agricultural products. After only two years, around 1994, we successfully delivered the first batch of live crabs to the US, opening up a path for Vietnamese live and fresh seafood products to enter into one of the world’s most regulated markets. 

After this successful transaction, we continued to seek out new markets by exporting various type of seafood to different countries and investing extensively into cool chain facilities such as frozen factories, processing factories, and a cold truck fleet. With all of these accomplishments, our company was honored by industry insiders as “The King of Wet Cargo”.

What are your company’s development plans for the future?

 As Vietnam’s agricultural products earn more recognition from international markets, we must actively seek out new opportunities and adapt ourselves to any new challenges they might bring. In the future, we plan to continue our investment into our cold chain system and, by 2020, upgrade the system with the addition of a state-of-the-art distribution center and facilities to cater to customers’ needs whenever required. 

Additionally, as an active member of prestigious logistic associations such as WCA, All-in-One, and 5Star, to name just a few, we diligently strengthen our partnerships with forwarders around the world to put our brand on the global map. In order to achieve that, we have been recruiting talented employees for our Dangerous Goods and Overweight/Oversized Cargo team, to take on any challenges with our international partners. Not only focusing on perishable goods, we also recognize the potential of the exportation of general cargo and we believe it is a good time to enter this market. With great shipping line relationships, an experienced professional team and extensive international connections, Hoang Ha will continue to be one of the leading names in Vietnam’s logistics industry.

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