Thirsty work

By 2022, South East Asia is expected to be the largest segment of the global market for beverages.

A growing demographic of young adults, higher disposable incomes and an appetite for new and premium products is increasing demand for quality beverages, while greater awareness of health and wellbeing is increasing demand for soft drinks and energy drinks even more.

Growth and disruption will be the hallmarks of the South East Asian beverage market in the years ahead as new players seek to tap into that growth.

But it won’t be easy. Yes, South East Asia’s markets are growing, but getting the goods to market can still be a challenge because of poor infrastructure and administrative systems not built for this scale.

Other challenges are shortage of critical skills in local workforces and evolving regulatory frameworks, which vary from one country to another in the region.

This is certainly the case for some of the most promising emerging markets in Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos.

Having been in the region for more than 25 years, Linfox is ready. Established networks, systems and relationships, and a strong emphasis on safety and service, mean Linfox is in a very strong position to help our customers, whatever their strategy in these emerging markets.

Boon Rawd Brewery produces many well known beers, including Singha.

New territory

A new partnership in Thailand is an example. In 2018, Linfox International Group (LIG) and Thailand’s number one brewery, Boon Rawd Brewery, formed a joint venture for the exclusive provision of logistics services to Boon Rawd’s beverages business in Thailand. The joint venture led to the formation of BevChain Logistics Thailand.

BevChain's Wang Noi distribution centre features the latest smart warehousing technology.

Boon Rawd Brewery is the oldest in the kingdom of Thailand. Still a family owned company, the producer of Singha and Leo beer and Singha Soda water is the only Thailand brewery to receive royal approval — this honour is marked by the symbol of the Garuda on the bottle’s neck.

BevChain Logistics Thailand's main DC is in Wang Noi in Bangkok, with a broader network that includes three regional centres in Khon Kaen, Surat Thani and Chiang Mai, and many smaller distribution centres in key areas.

More than 800 employees and contractors operate 15 warehouses and distribution centres and nine factories, bolstered by a network of company and contractor fleet.

Safety first

Safety has been a priority from the beginning. The BevChain Logistics Thailand team has worked tirelessly to build a proactive safety culture, training staff on personal protective equipment, load restraint, forklift driving, manual handling techniques, incident investigation and toolbox communications.

The first Stop For Safety program was held in April in the lead up to the Songkran peak; Thailand’s New Year celebration.

“This was an opportunity for the senior leadership team to engage with people face-to-face and reinforce the message about safe driving and warehouse practices,” said BevChain Logistics Thailand Managing Director, Matt Sheridan.

Matt said Songkran gave the warehouse and distribution network its first big work-out – with a strong outcome.

“The team put in a fantastic performance - more than 10 million cases were delivered and over 5 million cases passed through the warehouses each week.”

Future ready

BevChain Logistics Thailand has several projects underway as it works to reduce costs and increase efficiency across the network.

Newly designed high-capacity trailers were procured to improve safety and boost efficiency across the factory shuttle network.

Linfox’s integrated supply chain technology has also been put to good use, allowing network optimisation for more efficient routing and more direct-to-customer dispatch from the factory. The result is significantly lower fixed costs for customers.

A new transport management system will provide greater visibility over volumes, improve scheduling and ensure the best use of assets, also lowering operating costs. An enhanced warehouse management system will improve warehouse functionality, empowering customers with better insights from live data to analyse tasks and resource requirements.

“In just six months, we have made great progress towards competing in the local market and providing a safe and high-quality service,“ said Matt.

“By consolidating volume and services for existing and new customers we can lower costs and provide much more value across the supply chain, while helping them grow in their home markets and reach emerging markets of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.”

BevChain Logistics Thailand is on track to become a leading industry solution offering back-of-factory services through to consolidation and delivery.

“This important groundwork positions us to expand our service offering and leverage our network for new customers keen to grow and expand.”