"Particularly for the chemical industry, now is a time of transition where they are moving from a stable systematic approach to a more resilient regional approach."

Alexander Donau

REGIONAL HEAD ASIA PACIFIC, LESCHACO

October 13, 2023

Pease provide an overview of Leschaco’s activities and milestones achieved over the past year?

In December 2022, Leschaco expanded its global footprint by acquiring the Colombian logistics service provider Coltrans, adding approximately 500 staff. The integration was seamless and strengthened our business activities in one of the most attractive economies in Latin America.

Can you comment on trends you have noticed in the industry over the last year, particularly from chemical and petrochemical players?

We started witnessing a change in demand in mid-2022 with there being a significant slowdown in the market. We expected an upwind towards the end of the year, but this did not eventuate due to factors such as inflation, economic and political instability, and the impact the pandemic had on consumer behaviors. Particularly for the chemical industry, now is a time of transition where they are moving from a stable systematic approach to a more resilient regional approach, and onshoring and nearshoring will remain hot topics in the industry moving forward, moving away from just efficient production to more sustainable, resilient, and probably more regionalized production.

The shipping industry has turned around from what it was a year ago. In 2022, while there were some demand downtrends visible, we were still suffering equipment shortages due to incredible demand from companies that were trying to increase their stock holdings. Hindrances within the supply chain also pushed up prices to incredible heights that have never been seen before. This scenario has completely changed due to demand still being slow and there being a significant difference in post-pandemic behavior of consumer markets, influenced by inflation and political instabilities. We are in a situation where there is equipment and space available, but the demand is significantly down. Shipping prices have certainly normalized, and the logistics industry is, as always, fiercely competitive.

Can you comment on Leschaco’s partnership with WAVE BL, and how digitalization is impacting the logistics industry?

Digitalization is a key focus for Leschaco’s business, and we have selected WAVE BL to power our all-digital House Bills of Lading (HBL). Wave BL provides the ability to securely exchange original documents on an electronic platform.As each HBL transfer is performed digitally within minutes on the WAVE BL platform, entire document transactions can be completed in hours rather than the weeks that paper-based transactions can require. Part of the simplicity of these transactions stems from the fact that WAVE BL allows all parties to connect on a single, unified network.

Digitization is rapidly transforming the global shipping industry and is making our activities easier, more efficient, and improving customer experience. Leschaco has created an independent digital freight forwarding services provider company, Logward, which is an enabler for supply chain transparency. Logward provides "Supply Chain Management as a Service" where customers can manage and control their supply chain on a cloud platform in real-time. Logward’s cloud software allows shippers to predict bottlenecks, reduce errors, track and analyze costs, and improve customer satisfaction through unifying stakeholders, including shippers, consignees, 3PLs, and carriers, into a single interface.

What are the unique challenges and advantages of the chemical sector when it comes to logistics?

The transportation of chemicals, whether hazardous or not, requires expert knowledge. Leschaco is differentiated in the market in that we are specialists in complex activities within the supply chain, and we have the expertise, fleets, and warehouses that accommodate the transportation of chemicals or dangerous goods.

What is Leschaco’s growth strategy and main objectives for the coming years?

Leschaco is committed to our “Big Picture 2030” strategy where we strive for growth, and aim to unite all our employees, customers, and business partners behind the same values, strategy, purpose, and vision. Within this strategy, we have cultural development initiatives and events to ensure we allow and empower our colleagues to take part in a cultural journey within Leschaco. We also have the 30 by 2030 initiative where we want to increase our footprint to have 30 country-owned organizations globally. We have a clear vision to grow this unique family-owned business and be the employer of choice for future generations.

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