New partnership supports Singapore’s supply chain start-ups
YCH Group, Asia Pacific's leading integrated end-to-end supply chain management and logistics partner, announced that it has launched Supply Chain Angels (SCA), its corporate venture arm.
Co-invested by National Research Foundation (NRF) under the Early Stage Venture Funding Scheme III (ESVF III), SCA invests in startups that are synergistic and complementary to YCH’s supply chain and logistic business with the aim of “Creating Unicorns in the Supply Chain”.
Through SCA, YCH Group will invest $10 million with NRF providing funding support on a 1:1 matching basis.
SCA will be focusing its investment in the following areas:
• “Uberisation” of Logistics: new and smart ways of maximising the utilisation of capital and assets in areas such as reverse logistics and warehousing
• The Internet of Things (IoT) that provides supply chain professionals with greater visibility, accuracy and pinpoint identification of potential issues throughout supply chain processes
• 3D printing for on demand production and where products can be virtually warehoused
• Big Data: advanced supply chain technologies of the future that will automate decision making
• Robotics such as drones, smart warehouse robots, smart machines and automation
• FinTech: revolutionising the supply chain financing system
The startups will be encouraged to locate in Asia’s first and only supply chain venture space: Supply Chain CityTM. Home to 10,000 square feet of startup innovation with over 2 million square feet logistics ecosystem housing logistic operations of numerous MNCs and training of supply chain professionals, Supply Chain CityTM. Is located in the heart of the Jurong Innovation District.
“YCH is committed to contributing to the growth of the supply chain start-up environment by equipping its players with the right technical, operational and knowledge capabilities. We look forward to the creation of innovative products that can be scaled and used in Singapore and other countries,” said Dr Robert Yap, Executive Chairman of YCH Group and Chairman of SCA.
Companies selected in the early stage will have direct access to industry, start-up and management expertise of companies such as Accenture, Golden Gate Ventures, and Dell, Rolls Royce, as well mentorship from industry veterans working with YCH and Y3 Technologies on topics such as operational feasibility, implementation, Industry knowledge, and potential customer contacts.
James Ong, Investment Committee Member of SCA said, “We look forward to work closely with NRF to monitor the changing landscape of the Supply Chain and Logistics industry and identify early stage companies with high growth potential and a technology focus that would fit into the supply chain ecosystem which YCH is developing within Supply Chain City.
“The ecosystem will offer not just the best in knowledge and expertise but also provide a platform for startups to test bed new and innovative ideas. The community will also offer start-ups easier access to potential customers, the right mentors and opportunities to embrace ideas and disruptive technologies.”
Cainiao Network Launches Customer-Centric Logistics
As the logistics division of the Alibaba Group, Cainiao Smart Logistics Network has decided to provide its Southeast Asian customers with unsurpassed service during its annual shopping festival. Based on customer feedback surveys, the company will expand its real-time customer service support and speed up delivery times. ‘By expanding and deepening our services, we aim to provide a stronger logistics infrastructure that can bolster the booming eCommerce sector, support merchants’ expansion into new markets and diversify retail options for consumers’, said Chris Fan, Head of Cross-Border, Singapore, Cainiao Network.
Who Is Cainiao?
According to TIME Magazine, Cainiao ‘is far from a typical logistics firm’. The company controls an open platform that allows it to collaborate with 3,000 logistics partners and 3 million couriers. This means that merchants can choose the least expensive and most efficient shipping options, based on Cainiao’s real-time logistics analytics. The company’s goal is to ship packages anywhere in the world in under 72 hours—and for less than US$3.00.
For countless small business owners around the world, from coffee-growers to textile-weavers, this could change everything. Usually, it costs about US$100 to ship a DHL envelope from Shanghai to London in five days. Cainiao aims to change that. Said its CEO Wan Lin: ‘The biggest barrier to globalisation is logistics’.
What’s Part of the Upgrade?
Throughout the Tmall festival, Cainiao’s logistics upgrade will be divided into four critical segments:
- Real-time customer service support. Cainiao has launched a direct WhatsApp channel for customers to receive logistics updates and ask questions.
- Expansion of air freight parcel size and weight limits. Packages can now be up to 30 kilograms or 1-metre x 1.6 meters to help ship large items such as furniture.
- Daily air and sea freight connections. Shipping frequency will almost double to seven times weekly to maintain resilience and efficiency.
- Compensation for lost or damaged packages. Customers will be reimbursed up to RMB 2,000 (US$311).
Where is the Company Headed?
From June 1st to June 20th, the finale of Tmall, Cainiao will ensure that its customers feel confident in the company’s ability to deliver their packages. Despite global shipping delays due to COVID, the show will go on. Said Fan: ‘This series of customer-centric logistics upgrades reaffirms our goal of pursuing value-added services to enhance customers’ shopping experience while mitigating challenges posed by external factors’.
Furthermore, Cainiao has recently expanded its Southeast Asian operations, achieving revenue growth of 68% year-over-year. In Malaysia, the logistics operation has partnered with BEST Inc. and Yunda; in Singapore, the company has partnered with Roadbull, Park & Parcel, and the Singapore Post. And if its recent measures help retain and grow its customer base, the company will be well-poised to lead the industry in resilient and customer-centric global logistics. ‘COVID-19 made everyone realise how important the logistics infrastructure backbone is’, said Wan. ‘And it gave us a peek at what Cainiao should look like in three years’.