How does good logistics go hand-in-hand with supporting the global trade system while at the same time using fewer resources? Is the traditional role of freight forwarders changing? And who benefits from green logistics? Meet Kiko Zheng, Greencarrier Freight Services’ new Branch Manager in Ningbo, who lives by the quote “stay hungry, stay foolish” and shares her modern thoughts on freight forwarding.
Hi, Kiko! You are the new Branch Manager at Greencarrier Freight Services in Ningbo. Tell us about your role?
I joined Greencarrier in October last year. I was very excited to take on the role as Branch Manager in Ningbo. Greencarrier is a global freight forwarder with a home market in Scandinavia, meaning that Ningbo, along with our other China offices, handles the majority of our big shipments. My main responsibility is to lead the Ningbo team and make sure we provide the best services possible to our customers across the world.
But Greencarrier is also an ambitious company that wants to grow. The Ningbo office plays an important role in the trade between China and Europe. So another part of my role is to focus on the local market to support global business growth. Right now, we are in the process of handling local procurement and investing in our sales team to develop our local business. This will increase Greencarrier’s market competition on a global scale and allow us to step up as a partner to our customers in the supply chain management market.
I look forward to the bright future that lies ahead of Greencarrier. Hopefully, the Ningbo office can make a great contribution to support the headquarters in achieving the goal of our growth strategy.
You have been in the transport and logistics industry for quite some time. What insights are you bringing to the table that can help customers?
I have been in the industry for almost sixteen years. As a freight forwarding company, we are not just providing services to make money. More importantly, we are creating value for our customers. We do this by helping them manage their supply chain, designing their logistics solutions, optimizing their processes, and improving their efficiency. This is a win-win solution and key for us to keep long-term relationships with our customers.
You are appreciated for your modern view on freight forwarding and sales. Please, share your thoughts!
Traditionally, freight forwarders use information gaps to make money. They buy from carriers and sell to end customers. But along with the development of the internet and the full transparency of information, this way of working is over – and won’t come back.
As a modern freight forwarder, we need to look at things from the customers’ perspective, not sell or promote products, but design logistics solutions based on actual needs and requirements. We need to extend the scope of transport and logistics from the main root, in all parts of the supply chain, to provide end-to-end solutions. This is something we need to invest in and develop together with our customers and the market.
It sounds like your approach is very customer-oriented. What does it mean to you to put the customer first?
Usually, when we talk about putting the customer first, we talk about service; how shipments are handled, if everything goes as planned, and if the customers are happy with the transport and delivery. But to me, putting the customer first is not about service.
It is about having a guideline to follow when designing logistics solutions or setting up processes internally and externally. And every time we decide to make changes, we need to ask ourselves: Does this increase the value for our customers? Does this reduce their costs and shorten their lead times? If the answer is yes, we can go ahead. If not, we need to take a step back, rethink our process, and find an alternative solution.
What is good logistics, in your opinion?
Logistics plays an important part in our world and is a cornerstone in global trade. Everything we eat, wear, and use is delivered to us by logistics. Logistics makes our lives easier. But logistics is also about consuming resources, which has a huge impact on the environment.
In my opinion, good logistics is green logistics – solutions that create value for customers while also using fewer recourses. Green logistics is not only valuable to the environment but also to society and people. Greencarrier definitively leads by example here, and I think we are doing something great for the future of our planet.
Do you have any tips for customers planning their transportation?
Look for a reliable logistics partner – like Greencarrier! A reliable logistics partner is always key to making your transportation more efficient and safe. Furthermore, a professional and modern freight forwarder with the proper knowledge and insight can help you increase market competition and grow your business. This is also an important part of logistics.
A lot is happening in the world right now, affecting the logistics industry. What is the best strategy to make sure you meet customer demands?
Yes, COVID-19 has changed the world. The logistics industry has faced one of the biggest challenges we will ever meet. Container shortage has been and still is a huge problem. At the same time, the pandemic has given us new opportunities. As customer demand is changing, we have learnt to become more flexible and creative in solving our customers’ problems. I think the best strategy is to stay on our toes, be prepared to step in and make quick decisions, and respond rapidly to our customers.
On a day off, what is the perfect way of spending your time?
I would spend time with my little daughter. I am always so happy to see her smiling face after work. Before I had her, I used to travel a lot. Now I am looking forward to travelling and exploring the world together with her. Maybe in a few years, when she is a bit older.
If you would choose a quote to live your life by, what would it be?
Stay hungry, stay foolish. The original quote comes from a magazine called The Whole Earth Catalog, but I learned it from Steve Jobs’ speech at Stanford University in 2005. I actually graduated from university the same year and was very moved by his speech. While he wished it for the graduates, I wished it for myself.
Still today, I use the quote to remind myself: Always follow your heart, always choose what you love, and always be good and kind. My future consists of everything I am choosing right now, and I don’t want to regret my choices when I look back, many years from now.
We love that! Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us, Kiko.
For more inspirational and helpful advice on transport and logistics, visit Greencarrier Freight Services.