Partnership approach can help address many challenges companies face

Companies moving cargo from China to the US must adopt a more collaborative approach to improving the efficiency of their supply chains, according to Brian Lutt, President of global supply chain leader, APL Logistics. Lutt’s comments were made during a recent address to the prestigious annual Conference of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals in San Antonio, Texas.

He identified a number of key issues US companies face when adding the China link to their supply chains, including:

  • Compliance needs
  • Cultural issues
  • Congestion ’ particularly in inland transportation
  • Connectivity between coastal and inland areas
  • Shipment security

Securing sufficient ocean and air transportation ’ particularly in periods of high demand.

The complexity of managing multiple currencies

‘Since China is the starting point of an enormous ’ and growing ’ number of global supply chains, companies seeking to optimize the efficiency of their individual supply chains must focus closely on improving access to best-practice logistics capabilities at the China end,’ Lutt said.

He said companies must first understand the current realities of managing a China-linked supply chain, and work with all stakeholders involved, including their overseas vendors, government agencies, and 3PLs in a collaborative framework to improve China’s logistics capabilities and ensure their own supply chain success.

‘The need for partnership is made more urgent by the steady shift in the commodity mix in imports from China towards higher value segments, and imports from China continue to grow at a rapid pace,’ added Lutt, a 20-year shipping and logistics industry veteran with extensive experience of managing supply chains for global companies in China.

APL Logistics began operating in China in 1988 and became the first foreign logistics company to receive wholly foreign owned enterprise (WFOE) status. Today, it operates a total of 40 offices and offers access to more than 1.5 million square feet of distribution space throughout China.