As manufacturers shift operations from China to Vietnam in search of lower labor costs, logistics operations are following suit. New York-based EMO Trans joined the ranks of forwarders setting up shop in the country, opening its doors this week at a facility near Ho Chi Minh Airport, in the country’s southern region.
EMO Trans president and CEO Marco Rohrer told Air Cargo World that the decision to expand into Vietnam was made after several of the forwarder’s major clients had set up shop in the country.
Traditionally, Vietnam’s major industries were apparel manufacturing, but Rohrer said that over the last few years, technology companies had moved into the market.
“This is an area that we focus on,” Rohrer said, “We have several clients that we have that ship from China that are setting up additional factories in Vietnam.” He noted that Foxconn, which build Apple’s iPhone units, was one such factory that had established a massive footprint in the Hanoi area.
Vietnam’s manufacturing sector has been boosted in recent years by major infrastructure investments. “In Ho Chi Minh City, we’ve seen great improvements, especially in airfreight,” Rohrer said, adding that he had been to the airport to examine the facilities in person. “Hanoi and Da Nang leave a bit to be desired, but they are catching up quickly.”
At this point, EMO trans has a staff of six in Vietnam, but it plans to grow that number to ten in the next few months. Rohrer noted that EMO Trans was outsourcing most a lot of its warehousing, and other logistics, which allowed it to keep its staff lean.
“What’s interesting is that with Vietnam is that we can cover the Cambodia market, which is just starting to emerge,” Rohrer noted. “Labor costs are even lower there, and we are seeing great improvements in trucking services between the two countries.”