We find ourselves immersed in the complexities of Southeast Asian logistics and cross-border ecommerce, focusing specifically on Thailand. We attended the Mega Show Trade Show in Bangkok and had the opportunity to visit Yun Express Thailand’s office and operations here.
Today, we have a special treat in store: a deep dive into Southeast Asian logistics and an exclusive video tour showcasing the actual operations, all available in the Global From Asia website show notes. Now, let’s dive in and explore!
Topics Covered in this Episode
Introducing our guest today, Peng Tao Zhang, the mastermind behind YunExpress’s remarkable expansion.
YunExpress Expansion to Thailand
Explore the story behind YunExpress’s expansion to Thailand, including its growing network of offices in Hong Kong, Japan, and Thailand.
Utilization of Thailand Warehouse by "Power Sellers"
Delve into how YunExpress’s “power sellers” leverage the Thailand warehouse. Learn from their strategies to enhance our own e-commerce ventures, drawing from the experiences of YunExpress’s significant Chinese e-commerce partners.
Use Case: Selling in Thailand Domestic E-Commerce (Lazada, Shopee)
Understand how individuals can utilize YunExpress’s services and warehouse for selling within Thailand, exploring the potential applicability to other B2C customer locations in Southeast Asia.
Use Case: Selling to USA/Western Markets
Discuss YunExpress’s reliance on air services, particularly with DHL, emphasizing the efficient shipment from Thailand to international markets, with a focus on the USA and Western regions.
Observations on Trends in Thailand/China E-commerce
Gain insights into the evolving landscape of Thailand and China’s e-commerce, drawing on YunExpress’s extensive experience and client interactions over the years.
Common Mistakes and Lessons Learned from Sellers
Explore the pitfalls and valuable lessons learned by e-commerce sellers in Southeast Asia. Discover how others have navigated challenges and failures, offering crucial insights for growing businesses.
Participation in Cross Border Summit
Anticipate YunExpress’s presence and sponsorship at the Cross Border Summit, a platform for meeting esteemed speakers and attendees from the industry.
Learn how to connect with YunExpress, including their website and contact details for further inquiries and collaborations.
We sincerely thank Peng Tao Zhang for sharing his invaluable insights and expertise with us.
People / Companies / Resources Mentioned in this Episode
√ Yalchin’s VIP Page
√ YunExpress Review
√ YunExpress Interview w/ CEO Jack
√ Cross Border Summit November 16-17, 2023
√ Visit our GFA partner – Mercury – for US banking solutons for your ecommerce businesss
√ Visit our GFA partner – Casia Cross Better Logistics – for your logistics needs
Episode Length 24:25
A heartfelt thank you to Peng Tao Zhang for sharing his expertise, and a sincere gratitude to our listeners for tuning in and being a part of this enriching conversation.
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[00:00:00] Episode 413 of Global From Asia. I’m in Prague. There’s trams. And there is kayaking over here. Welcome to the Global From Asia podcast, where the daunting process of running an international business is broken down into straight up actionable advice. And now, your host, Michael Michelini. I thought I would do my intro walking, but today’s show…
is [00:00:30] about Thailand logistics and a sponsor of the cross border summit 2023 Unixpress. I got to meet and do a little tour of the warehouse in Bangkok, Thailand. I just left there to go here to Prague and it’s a fascinating discussion to to learn about shipping. Actually, Unixpress is a Chinese logistics company, you know, they sellers there, but they’re expanding.
Just a [00:01:00] believe a lot in Southeast Asia, Dublin down, and Hong Tao, he gives a lot of insights. And it’s a great session. While I take my walk, I think you should check out this interview. I’ll also be speaking here in Prague tomorrow, on Friday, end of September, about owning your name on the internet.
Owning your content on the internet. It’s a big trend I’m diving deep into. Dude, look at this school. If you’re watching, I know a lot of people listen, but, [00:01:30] there’s some kayaks behind me. So, let’s tune into the show, and then after the show, I will share some of my experiences on, you know, some of our brands using Unixpress for our…
Shipments in Thailand, which is awesome. I’ll share about that after the interview. Thanks so much for watching All right, we have Tommy the sales manager at cross better logistics. How are you Tommy? Hi, we just got to meet here in Shenzhen China. It’s great They support the [00:02:00] show a global from Asia and we also use them ourselves for many of our brands and e commerce businesses and Tommy really cares they always are Try to help us save money, you know, not you have some products you can’t For us in China, you have some products you keep for us in the US warehouse, and I really appreciate that.
And you’ll, you can talk to this seller, right? You can give them your advice. You work with many Chinese sellers a lot, right? And you can help help the [00:02:30] sellers understand more. Yeah. We are very professional for the treatment to U s A and Canada. Also, we have warehouse in U S A and Canada. We can have our factories.
Suppliers, sellers for the shipment, for the e commerce business. Yep, and you even keep stuff in China too. So sometimes if you have the limitations of sending too much to Amazon, you can keep it here in China with CrossBetter, or you can send it of course to [00:03:00] the US warehouse. They have many different options and they’re always trying their best to find out what’s the best solution for you.
So definitely talk to Tommy, talk to CrossBetter. And thank you for your support of the community. Yes, we have good pricing and better service. Yes. Thank you. Thank you so much. All right. Thank you all for choosing to listen or maybe watch. We do video and audio of nowadays of the Gold of Malaysia podcast.
I’m here in Bangkok, Thailand. I went to a [00:03:30] mega trade show and of course I’ve also been meaning to have Pengtao on the show. Pengtao Zhang is the general manager at. Unixpress in Thailand, where he does a lot of different logistics. We just did a little tour. We’ll put the video also as a separate video of the set of the operations, but thanks for being here.
I really appreciate it. Yes. My pleasure to join this. Thank you, Mike. Thank you for visiting our warehouse in Bangkok. Yeah, it’s it’s, it’s a really. I think there’s a lot of firsts [00:04:00] that you’re doing here in, in in in Thailand and Southeast Asia. So I, we’ve, we’ve interviewed Unixpress in the past Jack Pong was on the show.
I think that was 2017. Oh, long ago. Six, six years ago. So Unixpress has grown even more. It was already growing then, but even now it’s, it’s, it’s really grown. And so this is expansion. When, when maybe a little bit about your background and when, when you started in Thailand. Sure, sure. Thank you, Mike.
My name is Pen Thao. Currently I’m living in [00:04:30] Bangkok and we just celebrated our second anniversary of Limitless in Thailand. So our Thai company was set up two years ago in 2021, July. So our company just has a global to global strategy. So that’s why we, we launched in nine countries and territories in APAC region, including Japan, Korea Hong Kong, Taiwan, as well as here, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, and Australia[00:05:00] and, and New Zealand.
Great. So I think the best way to do the show is like learning from your current sellers or clients so we can understand how they’re using the service and how others can use, you know, use this to, to grow their business. Actually, just fun fact, Andres from Akita is with me and we’re we’re working towards getting it set up for you.
But there’s lots of people for different ways. So there’s Chinese sellers use it, of course, Thai sellers use it, [00:05:30] international sellers. Do you mind sharing a little bit, maybe how many, what kind of people you work with? Actually we are a cross border e commerce logistics company. So we serve a lot of cross border e commerce sellers in Asian countries.
So we are here because Thailand, in Thailand, we got more and more cross border sellers. They are selling Thai products to Western countries. Meanwhile, a lot of [00:06:00] Chinese sellers, they are doing their business in Thailand as well. So basically we serve three kinds of demands in Thailand. The first thing is a lot of local market platform like Shopee and Lazada.
And so the customer, the sellers, they can. Drop their products in our warehouse. And when the orders come in, we will help them to do the fulfillments. We pick and pack, and we, we attach the label on the, on the [00:06:30] parcel, and then we handle to the last mile delivery companies in Thailand. So we, we fulfill a lot of local orders here.
So this is the first part of our business here. And the second one is, we also help lots of Thai sellers. Ship their small parcels to Europe or North America, as well as some other APAC regions. So these parts of sellers, they sell their products on Amazon, eBay, or [00:07:00] other international marketplaces.
So once they, they got an order from the destination countries they will fulfill the order maybe by themselves. And then every day they drop their parcels, they drop their shipments to our warehouse. And then we will do the exports for them. So we help them to, to ship the parcels from Thailand to their marketplaces.
So this is the second part of our business here. Third one is we [00:07:30] also support a lot of the local wholesalers like the, the, the Muay Thai boxing gear sellers, right? This is one of the most famous products from Thailand. So a lot of the training companies, they, they, they sell the boxing gears in Thailand.
North America, as well as Europe. So they have a lot of the gloves shin guards, and boxing shorts sell to the wholesalers in, in, in [00:08:00] Western countries every day. So normally they have hundreds kilo of these products. Need us to help them to ship from Thailand to their destination countries. We can also do this kind of B2B parcel delivery.
Understand, and so it’s just to be clear, it’s all by plane, you have your own planes as well, but of course you use other companies planes, but no C just to be clear, so it’s all air. We only do airframes. Which is good, so if you’re doing air. [00:08:30] So we’ve talked to many sellers, you know, so some sellers I’ve introduced you to they’re doing DHL from Thailand to the overseas market, but maybe they could save money using your right service.
Right. Right. Actually we, we compete with DHL and FedEx. So they are our competitors and all of us, we are heavy air freight users. So we use air freight to move the cargo from here to, to other countries. But [00:09:00] the different thing is DHO or FedEx, FedEx or UPS, they have their own air freight freighters.
So they have their fixed routings. For example, a DHL, they, they move cargo from here to their regional hub in Hong Kong and this is fixed. So even they have a parcel from here to Singapore, they have to move to Hong Kong first and then Hong Kong to Singapore. So it takes like three to four days, but we are more feasible.
[00:09:30] So we work, we work with different airlines. For example, we have a customer. They, they ship the apparel from Thailand to U. S. They have hundreds kilo every day. So we help them to put space from. Airlines who operates the direct flight from here to U. S. So we, we don’t need to transit via a regional hub.
So we can, we can, we can send the cargo directly from here to the destination countries. [00:10:00] And then. We have our own broker team in the U. S. We will do the customs clearance for the customer. And then, when the cargo arrive, our U. S. hub, we will do some sorting jobs and, and, and then we, we, we handle the parcels to our last mile delivery partners in the U.
- to to deliver the parcels to the end consumers. So this is why we are more flexible than our competitors because we are a combination of [00:10:30] heavy assets and light assets. We invest a lot to our freighters as well as cargo terminals in the main airports. But we also outsource some of our activities to our vendors.
So that’s why we can get a perfect balance of the transit time and cost. So this also why we can, we can provide our customers a very efficient transit time with a more [00:11:00] affordable rate. Got it. So let’s. Let’s discuss some, some examples. I know you might not be able to share that brand or company name, but let’s say somebody selling like a local seller or a foreign, foreign company wants to sell in Thailand.
You could receive the product. We have the warehouse behind us. Again, check out the V log for, for the little tour, but they could send it here. You, you check it in. You would. Keep it here. The customer, the customer in Lazada, La Shopee, other platforms [00:11:30] buys and then you would send to them directly. Right, right, right.
And then there’s, they have their own market account, right? You don’t have the Lazada account, the, your client. The user, the seller has to have their own account. Right, right. So once the seller, their account in their Lazada or Shopee account receive any orders we will receive some notifications and then we will pick and pack for our customers.
So they can just rely on our services because[00:12:00] we, we, we, we our operation here is very efficient. For example, this morning we received the customer’s orders and we will fulfill the orders same day and in the afternoon we will, we will handle the, all the shipments to our partners here and then the partners they will do the last mile delivery.
Which brings up a point and I hope I was right because somebody asked me. They, they’re selling like t shirts in Thailand and they’re trying to send direct to the customer overseas, [00:12:30] but the prices they’re getting is high. So they could send to you. They don’t have to warehouse. They could just, when they get a customer order B2C, they could send to you that just that one package.
And then you, you consolidate it with your other customers and then send it out. Right. So it doesn’t have to have the warehouse. You don’t have to keep a lot here. You could just send one or even drop ship right from a marketplace or somewhere. You don’t have to, it could be other people’s stock. Yeah, right.
Actually this is kind [00:13:00] of the contract logistics concepts. But we, we, we, we only serve the e commerce sellers. So it’s more like customized solution for those SMEs. Because e commerce sellers, they go to a free for order and let them know you need the contract logistic service. They will ask you how many square meters of warehouse you need, 5, 000 or 10, 000.
So, but, [00:13:30] you know, SMEs, they don’t have any idea of this. So they can just come to us and drop their shipments to us and we will handle everything for them. Okay, great. So, so that’s a little bit like the domestic, but it could, it’s almost the same if you’re sending overseas or sending, selling in Thailand.
It’s the process is mostly the same. Yeah, it’s almost the same. But the only thing is if you sell to other countries, customers, it takes maybe a longer time to, [00:14:00] to allow the customer to receive the shipment. You know, because actually they are a lot of big differences. Like if you sell to other countries, you need to do the export clearance.
You need to do the destination imports clearance. But, but since we are the experts, so we can do everything for our customers. They don’t need to care about the export and import process, but they just. Focus on the sales job and the shop management and they can just rely on our service and [00:14:30] outsource all the logistics process to our company.
We will handle everything. We will, we will bring the outstanding experience to their consumers. Great. Great. So. You also did F you could also do F B A. Right? So like even Tai, we’d mostly sell F B A only to jewelry. So you could of course do an F B A shipment. We, we could send it here and then you, you would label it and send it out.
You can keep some extra stock here [00:15:00] for say, Lazada or B two C or website sales. Right? So it’s. It’s pretty flexible, like you’re saying. Right, right. I just share with you this news we are working with Amazon because we just win the, the, the project of the FBA preferred carrier in Thailand.
So we will be the, the only. Preferred carrier of F B A in from this September. Wow. So un best will be, you will see un best man, you know, on Amazon’s websites. Wow. And yeah, from start, from this September. So yeah, we, we [00:15:30] do F B A service to all the Amazon sellers in Thailand. Actually you know, greens Pass, we are the first.
Service provide the entire market that’s, we, we design a unique solution for the FBA shipments. So if you are a, a FBA seller, you can just drop off your shipments to our warehouse. And then we will, we will print out all the labels for you and we will send the FBA shipments directly from here to U.
- And then our U. S. broker [00:16:00] will do the formal entry, import clearance for the sellers. So and then our partner in the U. S. will send the parcels to the FBA warehouse. So the whole process takes 7 to 10 days. So it’s end to end service and we can cover everything for our sellers. It’s just hassle free service.
Great. So we’re getting towards the end of the, this discussion, but I, I think we should also learn what you, [00:16:30] what are, what are your sellers, your clients, what do you see in the trends in the market? You know, you’re, you’re you’re working with Chinese sellers, international sellers, local sellers. What, what can we, we learn from your, your insights?
Yeah. I would like to say Southeast Asia is a great based region for the, the e-commerce sellers. So currently, I believe many, many Chinese sellers, they are coming here, but their, their focus will be be still to [00:17:00] local customers, like they open then a shop on Lazda or Shopee. And sell something from China to Thai customers.
They’re also doing the same thing in Vietnam, in Malaysia, in Singapore. But, I think the, the the big potential is in the near future, Southeast Asia will be another sourcing you know, countries. Because the supply chain is moving here. Because the, the they can find lower cost[00:17:30] labor land, factories in Southeast Asia.
So last week I just traveled to Cambodia and, and Vietnam. So we can find a lot of factories, they are moving from China, from maybe Taiwan to Southeast Asia. Because… Here, they can find a lot of the manpower here, a lot of good policies to, to encourage those foreign investors to come here to set up their own factories or [00:18:00] companies.
And then made, produced different things here. Not only the clothes, but also some electronics. Oh. And then, then, because, you know they are less limitation to those products made in Southeast Asia. So I believe in the in next five to 10 years, we will see more and more made in Southeast Asia products still on the Western [00:18:30] markets.
Interesting. I would agree. But one thing I noticed at the mega show is there’s still a lot of Chinese factories there. I don’t, I don’t know if you had a chance to go yet, but I was there. I still feel like 70 percent of it was Chinese. Factories, right, but I did see a little corner for a tie and some india pakistan, but yeah, it’s still But I do agree.
I mean, that’s why one reason i’m here. I feel like there’s more future opportunity another good thing to learn from the the sellers and the clients The mistakes that you see [00:19:00] maybe before they move to To using your service or in their business. What are some Mistakes or failures that you see happening often that maybe we can learn from.
Yeah, sure. Sure. As I mentioned last week I traveled to Cambodia. So I see a totally different city compared to Bangkok or Ho Chi Minh City. So if I didn’t travel there, Cambodia?[00:19:30]
So we got a customer he told me he had a very good business in Europe. He sends containers every week from China to Germany. So, he, he, he, he told me he would copy the success in Thailand as well. So I said, it’s okay, but you’ve never been here. It’s just… Use our service in, in, in Thailand, he said, yes, no problem.
I trust you. So I said, it’s okay. But that’s a few months [00:20:00] later, we only received a few orders, a few orders, I mean, less than 10. Wow. So it’s a big, it’s a huge difference compared here to European markets. So I would say every seller, if you are going to start your business here. Please come here. Sure.
Yeah, travel to to Thailand or Vietnam or Cambodia, spend a few weeks Study the local market here to know that this this market better and then I believe you help a lot [00:20:30] I agree that leads perfectly into I are ending is the cross border summit is a great chance to come down And also, thank you Feng Tao and your company and express in Thailand for for sponsoring and supporting That’ll be November 16th and 17th here well, Thailand, but up in the Chiang Mai, right?
Where it’ll be a two full day of conference of, of, of top sellers and, and experts sharing about cross border e commerce, Amazon, and we might, I am [00:21:00] getting some feedback about some Shopee Lazada. I don’t know if you have some people that would like to share, but all about e commerce cross border. And of course we’re going to be here.
We had some little bit extracurricular activities outside there too. And. That’s a great way to learn. You’ll get to meet PTT and, and, and the UN Express Thailand team. So I’m really excited for that. So thanks again. Thank you, Mike. And final little final point is how can people find your company and and contact to do [00:21:30] some business together?
Yeah, right. They can, you can search us on Google. Thank you again. I think we got a great recording. Interview and thanks so much. Thank you, Mike. All right. And thank you to our sponsor, our returning sponsor, mercury. com online bank. Well, it’s a real bank, but you can totally online for us. Our blimp program participants are going through this as well.
Thank you, mercury. Travis is great. There’s been on our shows, been in our events. We’re going to have another event where we will have them attending as well. And if you [00:22:00] want to get a little bonus for you and us, if you sign up and do some special circumstances, you can go to global major. com slash mercury.
I also have a video tutorial that we use even for the blimp people. I use the same exact video to learn how to use it. I hope you can check it out. Totally free. Why not? See you there. Okay, so that’s a wrap. Thanks. Thanks so much for sharing. Really, you know, trying to share new and interesting trends happening in the world.
I was also on a call with some other [00:22:30] sellers, you know, buying from Vietnam, Thailand, India, selling online. So it’s definitely a trend. So. So I think we have to stick with the trends, right? Learn new things, keep our minds open. So we’re using Unixpress and one of our brands at Akita, I remember Andres, we did an interview with him.
And it’s great. It’s like it’s a good price compared to DHL, UPS and others. And also, you know, the service is flexible. We keep some [00:23:00] stock there in their Bangkok warehouse. We send some to Amazon. We can ship some B2C or B2B from And you know, it’s also frees up a lot of time for Andres as well and others at the Akita brand.
So it’s something I would definitely discuss in your team if you are using shipping from Thailand. But of course, Unixpress also has supported the show in the past.
So you can, of course, [00:23:30] consider them for China shipments. Basically, they’re kind of like in the middle of price and and timing compared to maybe UPS or FedEx, which is higher price, but a little bit faster versus like post, which is cheaper, but a lot slower and limited tracking. So thanks New Express for supporting the cross border summit.
Thank you all for watching this or listening to. It’s a great day at the end of September here in Prague, Czech Republic. [00:24:00] We are expanding into Web 3 e commerce. To get more info about running an international business, please visit our website at www. globalfromasia. com. That’s www. globalfromasia. com.
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