Applying global practices to Vietnam

October 03, 2023 | 10:50
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Industrial and logistics infrastructure development and operation platform SLP is utilising its experiences to meet the increasing demand of global partners to invest and expand in Vietnam. Edwin Chee, COO of SLP Vietnam, talked with VIR’s Binh An on the company’s development strategy.

How can the logistics industry adopt global best practices offered by SLP?

SLP is part of GLP, a global entity engaged in the creation, ownership, development, and operation of logistics real estate, spanning 17 countries across the globe. We emphasise the continuous pursuit of learning and investment to foster growth and enhance the efficiency of the logistics industry.

Applying global practices to Vietnam
Edwin Chee, COO of SLP Vietnam

SLP excels in providing modern pre-built logistics facilities strategically positioned at key hubs. These state-of-the-art facilities, designed to meet the specific demands of various industry from manufacturing to retail and e-commerce enterprises, adhere to high standards and offer adaptable layouts that can expand as needed, optimising supply chain efficiency and seamless goods circulation.

Furthermore, SLP’s commitment to custom-tailored solutions ensures that each tenant’s unique operational needs are met through facilities custom-designed and constructed to match their requirements. This collaborative approach results in streamlined workflows and heightened productivity.

Backed by the global GLP network, SLP leverages technology and innovation, including smart warehouse solutions with the Internet of Things (IoT) devices, robotics, and automation systems. These advancements empower tenants to efficiently manage inventory, fulfill orders, and achieve high levels of speed, precision, and customer satisfaction.

Investment in education and green technology, coupled with incentives for logistics, and regulatory reforms, are key for Vietnam’s logistics industry. This will cultivate skilled professionals, promote eco-friendly practices, attract investments, and streamline procedures, fostering industry growth and cross-border trade.

E-commerce and retail are poised for robust growth in the near future. What products and services does SLP Vietnam offer to cater to diverse and adaptable needs in these areas?

Currently, SLP accommodates tenants in both the e-commerce and retail sectors. To address the dynamic requirements of these groups, SLP stands prepared with a range of well-suited and flexible solutions.

SLP’s state-of-the-art logistics facilities are well-designed and constructed to align with the specific demands of retail and e-commerce enterprises. These facilities adhere to high standards, feature adaptable layouts, and can be expanded as tenants need. SLP’s warehouse projects are strategically situated at key logistics hubs, optimising supply chain efficiency and seamless goods circulation.

Acknowledging the distinct operational requirements of every e-commerce and retail lessee, SLP Vietnam provides customised warehouse solutions. These solutions encompass the design and construction of facilities to align with each tenant’s specific needs.

Backed by the global GLP network, SLP possesses expertise and advantages in implementing technology and innovation to enhance the operational capabilities of its logistics facilities. Smart warehouse solutions that enable the application of automation and high technology facilitate more efficient inventory management, order fulfilment, and door-to-door deliveries. These tech advancements empower e-commerce and retail tenants to meet escalating demands for speed, precision, and customer satisfaction.

For flexibility and scalability, whether tenants require short-term or long-term leases, SLP offers flexible lease terms and adaptable spaces that align with their growth and expansion strategies. This scalability enables tenants to align their operations with market demands and seasonal fluctuations.

Applying global practices to Vietnam
SLP Vietnam

What are some of SLP’s plans in the near future in logistics?

Although SLP only entered the Vietnamese market in 2020, we have rapidly expanded our operations to encompass over one million square metres of modern, high-quality warehouse space across nine projects strategically located in industrial parks around Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. These strategic locations include Bac Ninh and Haiphong in the north, and Long An and Vinh Long in the south.

We remain committed to further enlarging the portfolio of modern warehouse projects in key areas, which may involve acquiring or developing new assets in pivotal logistics hubs to meet the solid demand for modern logistics facilities and advanced technologies.

In addition to our investments and development in warehouses, we can construct and advance various other types of factories and logistics infrastructure tailored to the market’s and our customers’ specific requirements. Moreover, SLP boasts significant advantages in scale and network, enabling us to provide robust support to our customers as they expand their operations.

Furthermore, in response to mounting environmental concerns, we have already initiated. We will continue to invest in various initiatives to reduce carbon emissions, conserve non-renewable resources, and harness renewable energy sources to minimise our impact on the environment and the communities in which we operate. Our focus is nurturing relationships with environmentally conscious partners and suppliers while delivering sustainable solutions.

Additionally, we will leverage the knowledge and experience of our global partners to facilitate connections between international customers and our business network in Vietnam. Our commitment is to provide international customers with a global standard experience and to meet their specific business requirements within the Vietnamese market.

In 2022, SLP Vietnam established the largest logistics development fund, totalling over $1.1 billion. What are the primary purposes for which this fund will be utilised?

We announced the formation of GLP Vietnam Development Partners I (GLP VDP I), and this fund stands as one of the most substantial logistics development funds in the Southeast Asia region.

The primary focus is centred on the continued expansion and advancement of logistics projects in Vietnam. The fund’s objectives encompass investment in existing asset acquisitions, the inception of new projects from the ground up, and the application of new technologies to modernise logistics facilities.

This modernisation aims to enhance product quality and provide comprehensive solutions for the logistics industry. GLP VDP I also plays a pivotal role in supporting our strategic endeavours to broaden our presence in new geographical regions and penetrate deeper into markets characterised by high demand, particularly those with robust growth potential in the logistics sector.

Furthermore, this fund strengthens SLP’s portfolio and extends our footprint in sought-after logistics markets.

What do you think are the advantages of SLP in the Vietnamese market?

GLP doesn’t simply view itself as a conventional logistics developer and leasing entity. Instead, we have positioned our brand as a comprehensive solutions provider and a valuable resource aggregator. Drawing upon over two decades of experience in development and operations, it has evolved from being a logistics real estate owner into a fully integrated ecosystem.

This ecosystem encompasses various services, including advanced logistics technology, investment and fund management, asset management, equipment leasing, renewable energy solutions, and data centres. Such diversification empowers us to offer end-to-end solutions to our customers, effectively addressing their operational and logistics requirements and ultimately enabling them to drive their businesses forward more efficiently.

Through our extensive network of customers, we gain valuable insights into their specific needs, allowing us to tailor our services better to meet those needs. We consider these capabilities to be distinct advantages of SLP. With this vision and approach, we will stand as a reliable and preferred partner for businesses operating in Vietnam.

Environmental, social, and governance criteria have become a core value for any company. How do smart and green logistics groups position themselves strategically to capitalise on key growth opportunities related to these principles?

Embracing these principles has indeed become a core value for enterprises pursuing sustainable development. In the smart and green logistics sector, several key growth opportunities are emerging.

The demand for green logistics facilities with energy-efficient technologies and sustainable building materials is growing. Our company is investing in developing modern eco-friendly warehouses and distribution centres to meet this rising demand.

We recognise the value of smart technologies like IoT sensors and blockchain to optimise supply chain visibility, traceability, and efficiency. This strategic approach enhances transparency and contributes to our overall sustainability goals.

Another promising opportunity for eco-friendly transportation lies in adopting alternative fuel vehicles for transport in logistics. Companies should take proactive steps to transition fleets, such as offering electric vehicle charging infrastructure, reducing emissions and operating costs, benefitting from government incentives, and aligning with customer preferences.

We pursue green building certifications, such as LEED, for our facilities. In 2023, SLP Park Yen Phong and SLP Haiphong achieved LEED certification. These certifications not only reflect our commitment to environmental impact reduction but also lead to lower operational costs.

Features like optimised lighting and air quality, green spaces, relaxation areas, cleanliness, functionality, and thermal comfort enhance operational efficiency for all users.

Furthermore, SLP places a significant emphasis on the human element. We actively engage in various volunteer programs to contribute positively to the communities and societies in which we operate and invest. A strong commitment to these principles is becoming an essential trend for businesses in the logistics sector, enabling them to make a meaningful impact and capitalise on growth prospects.

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By Binh An

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