Speech by 2M Tan See Leng at DB Shenker Singapore's 150th Anniversary Dinner

Speech by 2M Tan See Leng at DB Shenker Singapore's 150th Anniversary Dinner

Mr Jochen Thewes (Yor-hen Thi-vis), Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Management,


Members of DB Schenker’s senior management, including Dr Niklas Wilmking (Nik-las Wilm-king), CEO of the APAC region and Mr Charlie Kok (Char-lie Kok), CEO of Schenker Singapore,


Ladies and Gentlemen,




1. Good evening.


2. It is my pleasure to be able to join DB Schenker to celebrate your 150th anniversary.


Singapore as a reliable base for keeping the world’s goods moving


3. The logistics sector is an integral part of Singapore’s economy.


a. It facilitates the flow of goods into, out of, and within Singapore, and supports the growth of our manufacturing industry.

It has more than 85,000 employees, and it generated about $6.7 billion of value-add in 2020.


4. Today, 24 out of 25 top global logistics firms conduct activities in Singapore, two-thirds of which have chosen to hub their regional headquarters here. One of them, of course, is DB Schenker.


5. Since 1970, DB Schenker has grown alongside Singapore and is now one of our largest logistics players, employing over 1,900 workers across its local operations and APAC headquarters.


a. You continue to grow from strength to strength.

Just recently, you completed your largest global investment by opening the Red Lion facility, which integrates all existing air freight and contract logistics operations within a single site.


b. Its next-generation warehouse management and automation systems is expected to drive a significant increase in productivity, and a drastic decrease in order processing time for its customers.


6. Just as Schenker and our global logistics players look to build world-class logistics infrastructure here to support your clients’ needs, Singapore is committed to be a reliable base for companies to invest and grow their business here.


a. A number of leading manufacturers in the likes of Henkel and Infineon have also set up base in Singapore to orchestrate their regional and global supply chains, to tap on Singapore’s vibrant R&D ecosystem and network of leading shippers and logistics players.


7.We don’t take our position as a logistics hub for granted.

Even during the height of the pandemic, when many other countries were locking down their borders, imposing export controls and freezing port operations, Singapore was determined to keep our port open and businesses running.


  a. This has cemented our reputation as not just an efficient, but more importantly, a trusted node in global supply chains, whether in peacetime or in crisis.


b. Efficiency can be gradually built up and restored, but trust is a far more precious commodity, and once eroded, will be very difficult to rebuild.


c. And the value of that trust is especially evident in light of today’s global supply chain disruptions and heightened geopolitical tensions.


d. We played an important role in easing global port congestion last year by hiring more than 2,500 workers and opening additional yard space to help shipping lines reroute their cargo, and better plan their logistics.


e. Changi Airport also improved their cold chain handling capabilities and capacity throughout the pandemic, to cater for the timely, safe, and reliable distribution of vaccines to and through Singapore.


8. To ensure that Singapore remains prepared for future crises, we have committed to invest and expand our air and sea cargo capabilities.


a. The first berths at Tuas Port are now operational and by the 2040s, it will be the world’s largest fully automated port, capable of handling 65 million TEUs annually - almost double today’s volumes.


b. We have also announced the resumption of development for Changi Airport Terminal 5, which will cater for air traffic growth and expand our air cargo handling capacities to 5.4 million tons per annum, up from 3 million tons per annum now.


c. In addition, we have developed plans for the air cargo hub at Changi to be faster, smarter and greener with the use of data and technology.


Driving innovation in logistics processes and sustainable solutions


9. To support the growth of the logistics sector in Singapore and help our companies maintain an competitive edge, we have also worked with the industry to co-create and develop innovation and sustainability solutions.


a. For example, the Singapore Trade Data Exchange (SGTraDex) was created by a strong public-private partnership, the Action for Alliance (AfA) on Supply Chain Digitalisation.


b. The Singapore Trade Data Exchange is a centralized data platform to streamline information flows across a fragmented global supply chain.


c. The platform is open to bulk shipper traders, logistics operators, financial institutions and non-trading organisations to participate and is estimated to reap at least $100 million in costs savings by 2026.


d. Increasingly, customers have been requesting for sustainable solutions and green fleets.

Companies too are expected to draw up sustainability targets, and plans to reduce their carbon footprint.


e. CO2 Connect (CO2X), a joint venture by 3 homegrown technology companies, offers affordable carbon tracking solutions to help logistics companies adopt a data-driven approach to calculate their carbon emissions and identify areas of operations which could be optimized.


10. In this regard, I am heartened that Schenker has been pioneering new developments for the logistics industry in both innovation and sustainability.


a. While innovation in the industry typically comes from automation and process improvement, Schenker’s new venture capital and start-up division, Schenker Ventures, represents a new approach.


b. It has invested in Volocopter, a German electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft manufacturer.

Not too long from now, we may be able to take these flying electric air taxis around Marina Bay, and one day they may help carry our parcels across cities – super express delivery!


c. Schenker has also partnered Lufthansa Cargo for carbon-neutral flights between Frankfurt and Shanghai.

This weekly flight is the world’s only regular full charter that is fully covered by sustainable aviation fuel.


Logistics is a sector which shows great promise and will be able to tap on industry ready talent.


11. As logistics operations undergo the digital transformation, Singaporeans can now enjoy diverse and exciting opportunities to learn new skills and take on more meaningful roles in blockchain, process automation and even digital twinning.


a. I am heartened that Schenker recognizes the importance of investing in its people.

Even amidst the pandemic, Schenker spent more than $1.2 million to support its staff in learning new and transferable skills.


b. This includes launching an e-learning platform with digital courses for staff to improve themselves, and investing in upskilling warehouse operators to higher skilled roles such as Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) maintenance and Warehouse Management System (WMS) waving.




12. We will continue to work with Schenker and other key companies in Singapore to grow and transform the logistics sector.

Next month, we will launch the refreshed Logistics Industry Transformation Map (ITM).


  a. The ITM lays out the key strategies the government will employ in supporting companies to seize new growth opportunities in digitalisation and sustainability, while increasing productivity and creating quality jobs.


b. We have many exciting plans, including to develop new supply chain capabilities in areas such as cold chain assets, and to drive adoption of productivity solutions for the industry, such as by encouraging shared development and usage of logistics infrastructure.


c. We look forward to counting on companies like Schenker to implement these plans and shape the future of the sector.


13. Let me conclude by congratulating Schenker once again on your 150th anniversary.

We hope to celebrate many more milestones with you in Singapore.

Contact Us Feedback