XSTAFF GmbH continues to expand: At the BCO Conference held in Bern on September 26, the company announced that it had formed the joint venture UniStaff Logistics (HK) Co. Limited with Chinese logistics services provider Unitrans Group Co. Ltd., further expanding its presence in the Asian region.
Owned in equal shares by the two partners, the joint venture is set to take effect on October 1, 2019. The contracting parties are Cross Staff Asia Pacific Limited and Unitrans Agency Hong Kong Co. Limited.
Customers of XSTAFF will then have unrestricted access to the Unitrans network and be able to use all the services provided by Unitrans, which maintains an extensive network in the Asian region, with base locations in Beijing, Shanghai and Nansha-Shenzhen, and overseas offices in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Vietnam-Cambodia. A hopeful prospect, according to Bodo Knop, Chairman of the Board of XSTAFF GmbH:
“Through the partnership with Unitrans, we create new opportunities and additional latitude for our members in Asian-European shipping. At the same time, the agreement opens up outstanding prospects for us in a growth market with huge potential generally and for the logistics sector in particular.”
Raymond Chen, President of the Unitrans Group, endorsed that view in this presentation and underscored the importance of the new partnership for his company: “It’s very important for us to have strong and reliable partners in Europe that we can trust. So we are pleased to have found a company like XSTAFF that can give us crucial momentum in the development of our activities in the European region.” Currently, a trade volume of approximately 70,000 TEU is already being shipped via the XSTAFF purchasing network, and that is expected to grow to over 90,000 TEU by 2020.
Reliable partnerships are the key to success
Whether it be the trade war between the U.S. and China, the crisis in the Persian Gulf or the impending Brexit, logistics companies are currently facing a great many challenges and risks. The importance of reliable and stable partnerships in such times was highlighted by Erich Staake, CEO of Duisburger Hafen AG (duisport), in his keynote address. Speaking before the many assembled managers and executives from the shipping industry at the Kursaal convention center in Bern, Staake said: “Today, logistics means thinking and operating in international networks.
That’s the only way that companies can develop prospects for growth in this fiercely competitive market and operate successfully over the long term.” In numerous past projects, duisport has shown how this strategy can be effectively implemented in practice, Staake added. Over time, however, the company has also evolved, he said. “Today, we’re no longer just a part of the supply chain; we now manage the supply chain for our customers. Ultimately, our success is based on the development of this expertise.“
The impressive results that can be achieved through cooperation was then illustrated in a joint presentation by Eric Mangin, Deputy Manager Asia Mediterranean CMA CGM, and Jairo Garcia de Diego, Global Head Fashion & Apparel CEVA Freight Management. In 2018, the merger of the two companies gave rise to a new global player in the logistics sector with an annual turnover of around 31 billion U.S. dollars, more than 700 offices worldwide and over 110,000 employees. These are impressive numbers, but they have only been possible on this scale by combining the portfolios and services of the two companies, says Jairo Garcia.
“This allows us to offer our customers high-quality end-to-end solutions that give them important added value for their business. That wouldn’t be possible without bundling our expertise.”
This was illustrated by the recent commissioning, a few days ago, of the CMA CGM Jacques Saade, the world’s largest LNG container ship (23,000 TEU), which was a response to a preference among customers for more environmentally sustainable shipping options.
Presentations from Johannes Nanninga, CEO Gangzhou Port, Gunther de Smet, Head of International Buying for the Colruyt Group, and Christoph Meier, Account Unit Manager of XSTAFF GmbH, rounded out the program of this year’s BCO Conference, which took place in the Swiss capital this year (following Barcelona in 2017 and Düsseldorf in 2018). The event is certain to take place again in 2020, according to the organizers, but the venue has not yet been decided.
About XSTAFF GmbH
XSTAFF GmbH was formed in October 2016 by the firms COOP Schweiz and the Belgian Colruyt Group as a central point of contact and coordination for a new international purchasing network. The company represents the interests of its clients by bundling the contractually guaranteed transport volumes of the network partners, conducting negotiations with the shipping companies in their behalf and helping the members of the network to organize their supply chains. The organization comprises over 50 network service providers in Europe and Asia and operates three joint ventures based in Hong Kong, Barcelona and Milan: Cross Staff Asia Pacific Limited, Cross X Staff Logistics Procurement Consultant Iberia S.L. and Cross X Staff Italy Srl., respectively.