“We are seeing that growth and we are also experiencing high growth in Vietnam and in Hanoi in particular.”
Mr Hardy Diec
One of the world’s leading express freight forwarders, TNT, last Thursday expanded its integrated air and road operations centre in Hanoi, which marked a milestone in TNT’s business in northern Vietnam.
Hardy Diec, country general manager of TNT Vietnam, tells VIR about TNT’s plans to achieve higher growth in Vietnam which has rich potential market for express freight transportation services.
Why was TNT’s Hanoi operation centre was expanded by three times?
Since the TNT Hanoi facility started operations in 2008, demand for freight has shown a strong growth at 60 per cent.
The profile of goods has diversified over the years, from garments and textiles to high-value goods, such as electronics, hi-tech gadgets, health-care products and automotive and industrial equipment.
Considering Vietnam’s robust growth and customers’ requirements, we decided to raise investment in our operation facility since the old capacity was hardly sufficient to meet the increasing demand.
By focusing on offering our customers key benefits such as cost efficiency, speed and reliability, we look forward to powering TNT’s operations to the next level of growth in Vietnam, which is becoming a very exciting country with impressive growth.
Apart from being connected to TNT’s air network, the Hanoi operation centre is also linked to TNT’s unique Asia Road Network (ARN).
This has been very successfully operating in Asia for the past five years. It links Vietnam to six other countries in the region including China and Thailand.
How many centres of this kind does TNT have in Vietnam?
We have three in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Danang. The Hanoi facility in the southern part of the city is sizable covering 3,000 square metres. Our International and Domestic Operations Centre as large as 3,000 sqm located near by the Tan Son Nhat airport in Ho Chi Minh City was opened last July.
Vietnam joint the World Trade Organization three years ago. Since then, export and import activities, particularly northern region, have increased. Why did TNT wait until now to expand its operations centre in the north?
As we are seeing the north is demonstrating a very robust growth. There have been many industrial parks set up here like Nomura, Bac Ninh, Haiphong and Thang Long industrial parks. We are seeing that growth and we are also experiencing high growth in Vietnam and in Hanoi in particular.
Together with increasing demand from our customers, it prompted us to expand our investment to be ready for an indicated high growth of customers as well.
Is the expansion also a preparation for TNT to set up a wholly foreign-owned firm when Vietnam opens up the whole market for foreign express freight forwarders in 2012?
We are now a joint venture with the Vietnam National Foreign Trade Forwarding and Warehousing Corporation (Vietrans). The joint venture was established in 1997 and will operate until 2015. Until that time, we will still carry out our activities under the joint venture and we have not decided any other separate plans.
There are several big foreign players and many other local firms operating in express freight delivery services in the country. Which competition strategy will TNT focus on?
We are the only company at the moment that has integrated solutions of road and air, which are able to give our customers more competitiveness and choices.
As well as the fact that we have the ARN, which currently serves seven countries and 127 cities in South East Asia and southern China. TNT has to date invested more than 12.5 million euros in the fully integrated ARN, which partly focused on strengthening and increasing our fleet of trucks specially designed to suit pan-Asian routes.
Transporting goods by road on the ARN is, on average, 30 per cent cheaper than air transportation and three times faster than sea transportation. Road freight is a solution that we are offering to our customers with cost competitiveness depending on their urgency.
TNT expects to see a further shift in transportation from air to road as the ARN and other international transport routes continue to develop.