China industry spotlight: Logistics
Logistics requires a complex flow of numerous inputs working together to efficiently transport goods around the world at the lowest expense possible. The amount of information and IT infrastructure that is required to keep logistics companies and clients in the know-how at all times is extensive. On top of just needing the bare facts of what the shipment is, how large it is, what is inside, and where is it coming from and going to, logistics companies (who are usually known as 3PL’s) also allow many features with which to customize the shipment.
These customizations include being able to choose how it should be sent and the corresponding different prices, being able to print labels yourself, pickup or drop off, etc. The need for customization and intense competition forces third-party logistics companies to be adaptable and flexible with excellent customer service and efficiency.
It is because of the extensive outlay of capital that is required to efficiently run a worldwide logistics company that the logistics industry is extremely competitive and often favors large companies as they can achieve economies of scale. Just a few short years ago, European companies dominated the industry, especially Germany. According to a 2011 survey of the ten highest revenue-earning companies in the world, the top three were German companies and the only two firms based outside of the EU were located in United States. Things have changed, though, as Asia has increased her buying power and know-how. According to a survey done by Armstrong and Associates, there are now two Asian companies in the top ten and two well-known U.S. companies, Expeditors and UPS, have fallen out of top rankings. Japan-based 3PL, Nippon Express, currently holds the number four position and Sinotrans, the Chinese powerhouse, has risen to number eight. DHL continues to remain on top and hold the majority market share of the world’s logistics industry but keep an eye out for Asian companies.
The domestic logistics industry in China is a whole other world. There are over 35,000 express delivery operators (known as kuaidi) in China. Visit any large city in China, such as Beijing or Shanghai, and you will no doubt see a young person on a three-wheeled motorbike with a small cart behind it piled high with packages. Oftentimes, you will see many of them during any given day. Taobao, an online e-commerce site similar to Amazon, needs almost 70% of that business to ship their 20 million daily orders. The result? Domestic shipping prices on Taobao are ridiculously cheap and shipping speed is fast. Depending on the size of your item, you might only have to pay $2 to ship a package from the south of China to the north of China and have it arrive in less than two days. It is nothing short of a miracle. Learning the intricacies of the Chinese logistics industry will give you the ability to work anywhere in the world as global companies definitely pay close attention to this fast growing market.
Gi2C Group can help you find a logistics internship and learn more about China’s unique culture along the way with an internship in Beijing or an internship in Shanghai. Internships are the perfect opportunity to test different industries and company environments to learn about what type of career best suits you. Internships also help you get your foot in the door and establish valuable relationships.
- Client relationship management
- Generate RFP and service level agreements
- Following regulations and properly documenting orders
- Quality control for outbound and inbound shipments
- Handle complaints and resolve problems as needed
- Work on assigned projects as needed
- Assist in day to day operations
Experience and qualifications
Preferably a graduate with a Bachelors in business, logistics, supply chain management or an undergraduate currently pursuing a similar degree. Excellent customer service, familiar with target setting and achieving strategic goals. Great presentation skills along with project management. Stellar analytical and communication skills especially at a senior executive level. Tri-lingual or above is extremely useful.