Geodis appoints Simon Vandekerckove as new managing director in Vietnam
To meet the requirements of this increasingly demanding market, Geodis has appointed Simon Vandekerckove as country managing director. He takes over from Alan Miu, the caretaker in the role for the last eighteen months. Simon joins Geodis in Vietnam with over 13 years of experience in the freight delivery sector. A French national, he has lived in Vietnam for the past 7 years as the country manager for a leading logistics company and is recognised for his expertise as well as experience in supply chain management. In his role Simon reports to Rene Bach-Larsen, the sub-regional managing director of Geodis ASEAN.
In welcoming Simon, Geodis Asia-Pacific regional president and CEO, Onno Boots said,“In order to drive our ambitious plans for sustainable growth in the midst of challenging trading conditions we require strong leadership within our country organisations. We seek to put in position those with industry experience, a thorough knowledge of the country and varied relevant skill-sets. Simon’s appointment underlines these priorities.”
The appointment comes as the pace of change in supply chains is accelerating rapidly. To reach its five-year growth objectives, Geodis needs to be even more agile and adapt even faster than in recent years. Based on customer-centric value creation and sustainability, the global logistics company plans on achieving this in particular in Vietnam, which has both experienced a continuous GDP growth of about 10 per cent on average per year and transformed exponentially by leapfrogging to some of the most recent technologies and systems.
The country’s economy is on the same path to wealth as were those of China and Japan in the past. The recent European Union Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) reinforces this trend by making the European market more accessible to Vietnamese exporters. It also opens the Vietnam market to European exporters, an opportunity for which Geodis in Vietnam is uniquely positioned to support its clients in taking advantage of.
With the continuous inward integration of ASEAN economies and supply chains, Vietnam also has a growing role as a regional transport hub. Geodis has developed its own cross border trucking operation,
Geodis Road Network (GRN) which currently connects Singapore to Thailand and is planned to extend into Vietnam by end of 2020 and additionally into China in 2021. One of Simon’s prime objectives will be to integrate Vietnamese hubs into GRN. This pioneering cross-border trucking system offers scheduled departures for consignments along the Singapore-Kuala Lumpur-Bangkok axis and will facilitate multi-modal gateway services to/from Vietnam.
Understandably, Simon is relishing his challenging new role, “Geodis in Vietnam is one of the best positioned forwarders in the country to support suppliers to the retail sector in particular,” he notes. “We are able to arrange freight, customs clearance inhouse, contract logistics and distribution from our own facility. We are well-placed to assist brands in taking advantage of the e-commerce boom with the full range of supply chain management tools, including last-mile delivery to fulfill orders received on customers own e-commerce platforms. We plan on scaling up this offer,” he adds.