LOGISTICALLY SPEAKING

Thailand 2017 | TRANSPORT | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Kiattichai Pitpreecha, Managing Director of DHL eCommerce Thailand, on the company's competitive advantages, room for growth in the logistics sector, and the company's targets for the future.

Kiattichai Pitpreecha
BIOGRAPHY
Kiattichai Pitpreecha has over 20 years of experience in the logistics industry and a successful track record in developing and growing business in new and demanding markets. He is responsible within DHL eCommerce for all new products and services in Thailand. Prior to DHL, Pitpreecha was Cluster Managing Director of Damco Logistics (Maersk Logistics). During the 15 years in Maersk Group, Pitpreecha also spent four years as the Head of Supply Chain Development in Asia Pacific. Pitpreecha has an executive education from the Columbia Business School and a bachelor’s in business administration from Assumption University, Bangkok.

As a newcomer, how do you plan to secure your share of the market?

We provide high quality and differentiated services to both merchants and consumers in Thailand. Convenience to consumers is our core focus. E-commerce buyers like convenience and speed. Given the rapid growth of the e-commerce market, there are consumer demands that cannot be met with existing logistics infrastructure and providers. This is critical as logistics is an integral element of the e-commerce business, and there is a need for the more established providers to enable the industry to realize its full growth potential. DHL eCommerce recognizes this gap and aims to stay close to our customers and develop services to enable a better e-commerce experience for both customers and consumers. Currently, we work closely with all major e-commerce players and have so far received positive feedback about our services, indicating that we are on the right track. We offer end-to-end logistics services to our customers, including picking up products from sellers and last mile delivery to recipients in Bangkok and upcountry areas. Our standard service is next day in urban areas and 2-3 days for remote rural zones. Speed is an important element in the e-commerce business, but reliability is even more crucial to our customers. Being able to deliver our promise consistently is where DHL's strength lies. We also provide a cash on delivery service with a very timely remittance of cash back to the seller or merchant. We monitor our performance closely. We also listen to the feedback from our customers through regular customer surveys and react quickly to address any issues that are identified. By providing the highest level of service and unrivalled reliability, I am confident that we will continue to build even more positive feedback and grow our business rapidly over the coming years.

With a number of planned infrastructure investments, Thailand aims to be the logistics hub for ASEAN. What trends do you notice in the local logistic sector?

With greater investment and focus on infrastructure improvement, it is expected that we will see higher efficiency that will bring down the cost of logistics, which has been estimated to be around 18% of GDP in Thailand, compared to 10% in other developed countries. There is still plenty of room for development. Thailand can position itself as the regional logistics hub, especially with the regional economic integration under AEC. Our country is strategically located at the center of mainland ASEAN, linking the entire Southeast Asia and southern part of China. Specifically for e-commerce logistics, the industry is still in its infancy with a large number of players of different sizes and scale, background, and nature of business. We have also observed quite a number of start-up logistics companies with strong funding support. As such, though the market is still in the early stages, we have already seen good competition. As this continues, we expect to see consolidation in this fragmented market in the medium term.

What are your expectations for the year ahead?

DHL eCommerce aims to be the leading player in the e-commerce logistics market. Given our expertise in logistics as a market leader, we are well positioned to take on this challenge. We ensure that we truly understand customer requirements. We are committed to staying at the forefront of e-commerce logistics innovations and are able to respond to the needs of the market. Operationally, we are expanding our network to cover larger geographical areas. This will enable us to provide high-quality and consistent service to our customers wherever they are. A series of new product features will be launched with the aim of enhancing and better enabling merchants to sell their goods online and further improve the convenience of shopping for their consumers. Given these developments, we believe DHL eCommerce will have a prominent role to play in the e-commerce space as an enabler for growth and a better e-commerce experience.