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WSS primed for Asian growth through new Busan hub

17 Dicember 2015 - Wilhelmsen Ships Service’s (WSS) new Northeast Asia Distribution Centre, located in Busan, South Korea, has reason to celebrate. Not only is the 6,500 sq. m warehouse facility fast approaching its first birthday, it’s also helped the firm consolidate its position in the regional marketplace, providing a strong platform for future expansion. Situated beside the Busan New Container Terminal, the fastest growing terminal in the world’s fifth largest container port, WSS officially opened the facility on 1 January 2015.

It marked a shift in the company’s regional strategy, creating a dedicated Northeast Asian base and allowing the former Asian hub in Singapore to focus on the Southeast of the region. It was a bold move that, according to WSS (Korea) General Manager Woon-Sik Choi, has paid off for the global provider of products and services to the shipping industry. “The company listened to its customers and responded to market demand,” says Choi. “South Korea’s strategic location means it is perfect for serving the key territories of China and Japan, as well as the huge domestic market our strong shipbuilding sector provides. Singapore is also a key hub, of course, but it doesn’t offer this close proximity.”

He continues: “Being closer to the newbuild arena provides a compelling business development opportunity for us. Customers want the best new products for their new vessels, and that’s what we specialise in. I’d say newbuilds constitute about 30-40% of our business now. By getting onto these ships from day one we’re in the best possible position to develop relationships that should last throughout their lifecycles.”

Choi argues that the shorter supply chain and huge capacity of the warehouse gives customers exactly what they need – availability and prompt fulfilment of orders. Its success so far pays testimony to this, with new storage racks currently being introduced, boosting capacity by around 25%.

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