In Singapore, one of the busiest trans-shipment hubs in the world, logistics companies do more than just transport goods from one place to another.
As one of the key pillars of Singapore’s economy, the logistics industry plays a vital role in the lives of many Singaporeans, such as making sure that we have an adequate supply of food and providing high-value jobs.
Pacific Logistics Group (PLG), one of the leading logistics companies here, is at the forefront of helping to drive the future of the industry, and in turn, playing a key role in building the future of Singapore.
A logistics company with Singapore in its heart
PLG is one of the top 10 homegrown logistics companies in Singapore. The firm, which provides integrated logistics solutions, ranks amongst the top in the industry in terms of annual revenue, company size, and the spectrum of services offered.
As a homegrown company, PLG has been helping to write the Singapore story and safeguard the nation’s interests. It is a role that the company is committed to and is actively contributing to in several ways.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, PLG assisted with the storage of the national food stockpile and lent its support to help deliveries to supermarkets when food resilience and safety were major concerns. PLG has continued to contribute its resources in a post-pandemic world. The company is now assisting with the long-term storage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in case of any national emergencies.
Connecting Singapore to Asia and the world
As an industry leader, PLG is also committed to promoting Singapore as a global trans-shipment hub and an attractive place to do business. The logistics company actively seeks out international brands with little or no presence in Singapore or the Asia region and encourages them to set up the regional distribution centres here.
By tapping into Singapore’s many benefits such as its status as a regional trading hub, connectivity, good infrastructure including Changi Airport and Tuas Mega Port, these international brands can easily build their local and regional presence.
To further align its efforts with national goals, PLG has in recent years concentrated on bringing in brands that specialise in sustainable products, to align with Singapore’s sustainability goals. The hard work has borne fruit, with PLG successfully bringing in one of the world’s largest gas engine technology companies, and one of the largest battery manufacturers to set up shop here.
“With our established network of partners, we hope to be the gateway connecting Singapore to Asia and the world,” says Mr Kelvin Lim, founder and group managing director of PLG, on the company’s plans.
Going digital for Industry 4.0
Since 2019, PLG has embarked on several digitalisation initiatives, including implementing semi-automated operations to increase operational efficiency, and developing software to improve workflows. Despite facing some challenges, such as having to train staff to sharpen their IT skills, PLG’s digital transformation efforts have already started making an impact.
The company’s in-house software development initiative led to marked improvements in communication and the flow of information between departments, as well as its international offices. PLG’s semi-automated operations initiative achieved higher productivity with a 20 to 30 per cent increase in throughput.
“Technology will play a key role moving forward, particularly as Singapore embarks on its Smart Nation Ready Plan and Industry 4.0. PLG has long taken pride in its ability to move quickly and adapt, and the use of such technology will enable us to uphold these values more effectively, transforming PLG into a different organization,” says Mr Edwin Lim, PLG’s commercial director, of the company’s digital transformation efforts.
PLG is planning to take their digitisation efforts one step further as it explores the possibility of automating the allocation of container loading bays. Currently, drivers must wait for an operator to manually search for and assign them a loading bay, a process that consumes time. With automation, PLG hopes to reduce the waiting time by as much as 42 per cent.
Building a people-first workplace for the future
PLG may be in the business of managing supply chains and transporting goods, but the logistics firm recognises that it is its human capital that matters the most. Over the last two years, PLG has launched several initiatives aimed at improving the work-life balance of its employees, while building a positive culture at work.
For example, since the Covid-19 pandemic, PLG has provided flexible working arrangements for some departments, as well as for its older staff, allowing them to telecommute when their work does not require them to be on-site. The company is also actively working on incorporating more technology to its operations so that more employees can benefit from working remotely in the future.
To attract younger employees into the logistics industry and to retain talent, PLG has put in place new measures to offer its people high-value jobs and a thriving career. The company developed career paths for employees by getting to know their personal objectives, thus helping staff to visualise their future with the firm.
Today, PLG has successfully attracted more young staff to join its ranks, reducing the average age of its employees from 55 to 40.5 years old. The younger workforce has made significant contributions as well, offering innovative concepts and ideas, while having the digital skills to navigate an increasingly technological and digital landscape that charts the future of the logistics industry.
One of its new joiners is Lim Si Hui, 22, a senior marketing and customer service executive with the company. Sharing her work experience with PLG thus far, Si Hui says, “Through after-work gatherings and activities, I got to know my teammates on a more personal level. This creates a safe space where everyone feels safe enough to share their ideas and opinions openly, which encourages us all to learn from each other and grow together.”
This people-first approach is something that PLG is committed to continuing, says Mr Kelvin Lim.He says, “A great culture inspires growth both professionally and personally, so it is important to make sure we are creating a workspace where people can feel supported by their peers. Afterall, we spend one-third of our lives working, so naturally, we want to enjoy the process, not just the result.”