“In Latin America, we suffer from an important logistics deficit. This creates high costs, and sometimes operations become unfeasible. Newport Tank always tries to create new ways of doing business to meet the demands of the market and our clients.”
Can you give a brief overview of Newport Tank and the company’s operations in Latin America?
Newport Tank can be defined as a tank container operator (TCO), and the company is headquartered in Moerdijk, the Netherlands. The company was founded in the United States, and in order to grow, we formed partnerships in China and other regions. We have always had our headquarters in Europe because the base of ISO tank containers is in that region. From a global perspective, Newport Tank is the world’s third largest TCO today. We have a fleet of approximately 34,000 ISO tanks. The company is divided into six cluster offices (China, Singapore, Europe, Dubai, United States and Brazil) for the respective regions. Our management team is situated at our headquarters, but each region has its own capability for making decisions.
From a business perspective, Newport Tank rents our tank containers to customers so that they can transport their products from point to point. Our ISO tanks are able to accommodate liquids, chemicals, corrosive products and both hazardous and non-hazardous cargo as a Food-Grade dedicated fleet. We are very focused on security and have a dedicated department to judge and choose the best solution for our customers.
Can you elaborate on Newport Tank’s business in the Latin American region?
Globally, we have a fleet of 34,000 containers. Each container does approximately five trips per year, which means that there are about 170,000 shipments annually. Approximately 10-15% of these shipments are within Latin America. We roughly have a 30% market share in this region, but this changes from month to month. Currently, Brazil is our largest market, followed by Argentina, which has been growing significantly over the last four years.
In times of volatility, how can Newport Tank ensure an efficient service to customers and predictability in terms of costs?
Newport Tank is in a very competitive business. There are not many companies playing the role of a TCO, but we are seeing more and more smaller players trying to be more effective in their operations. Costs have always been a challenge in the industry and there is thus a push from the market for service providers to be more efficient and innovative so as to be able to cut down on costs. Newport Tank is focused on efficiency and innovation: we invest heavily in our people and training so that we can have the results that customers require from us. We are very client focused and will keep up with the market trends and the strategies of our clients in order to be on the same page.
What are the challenges of logistics management in Latin America?
We see challenges as a learning process and every mistake made today will not be made again tomorrow. In this particular region, we suffer from an important logistics deficit. This creates high costs, and sometimes operations become unfeasible. Newport Tank always tries to create new ways of doing business to meet the demands of the market and our clients. Some countries do not have an awareness of the availability of ISO tanks, and it is our responsibility to educate the market.
Under the new ownership, what is Newport Tank’s strategy in Latin America?
Traditionally, the main shareholder of Newport Tank was always Sinochem Logistics, a company based in Beijing. We have recently been acquired by Shanghai Junzheng Logistics, which has created a logistics division – Gentco Logistics – that is now the main shareholder of Newport Tank. The acquisition was completed in April 2019, and we are now in the process of establishing the strategy of the company with an eye towards the future. Now, our our aim is to be a company that can provide the best logistical solutions to the market, though operational excellence and efficiency. This would translate in reducing costs of the operation itself and being more proactive.
How important is the APLA Annual Meeting for Newport Tank?
The APLA meeting is very important to Newport Tank, and we have been attending the event for eight years. It provides a great opportunity for industry discussions and for us to see and understand what the market wants. We can identify tendencies of the market as well as the logistical flows in the region. Discussions and meetings at APLA inform Newport Tank’s strategy moving forward. Networking and building connections is another advantage of attending the APLA event. APLA also brings new innovations to the foreground, which can be a great advantage for the logistics industry moving forward.