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Speech by MOS Low Yen Ling at Groundbreaking Ceremony of Commonwealth Kokubu Logistics

Speech by MOS Low Yen Ling at Groundbreaking Ceremony of Commonwealth Kokubu Logistics

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and gentlemen,

 

Introduction

1. Very good morning to all of you. It is my pleasure to be here today for the groundbreaking ceremony of Commonwealth Kokubu Logistics’s (CKL) new cold chain facility.

2. Since 2018, this cold chain logistics joint venture between Commonwealth Capital and Japan’s Kokubu Group has played a valuable role in providing end-to-end cold chain solutions to food retailers and food services firms in both Singapore and the wider Southeast Asian region. This includes all aspects of food supply chain management, from pre-production inventory control to temperature-logged warehousing and last-mile delivery.

Supporting Singapore’s Ambition to be a World-Class Trade and Logistics Hub

3. The cold chain perishables market is a key spoke of our logistics sector which has exciting potential for growth and expansion. As part of our Trade 2030 strategy, we aim to grow trading volumes by widening the types of activities in Singapore and developing new trade flows with the rest of the world. We expect to double the cold chain perishables market in a decade. Increasing demand from Asia for imported perishables and food security concerns will drive the need for cold storage to extend the shelf life of food products.

4. With excellent transport infrastructure and as a well-connected trade and logistics hub, Singapore is well-placed to serve as a node to support and secure cold storage supply chains.

a. During the pandemic, we have proven our reliability. Singapore kept trade flows open and did not restrict the export of any goods produced in or transhipped through our ports. We also kept our air and sea ports open which ensured the uninterrupted flow of critical supplies.

b. All this while, our companies in the food logistics space have continually invested in equipment and food handling capabilities to provide high assurance of food safety and quality to consumers.

c. In addition, Singapore is committed to achieving and upholding high standards of quality assurance in the cold storage space. Since 2020, we have set in place Singapore Standard 668 for cold chain management of chilled and frozen foods.

5. Today, the addition of the new CKL facility will enhance our standing as world-class trade and logistics hub.

a. This facility will increase Singapore’s overall frozen warehouse capacity by more than 60,000 pallet positions. It will also make CKL one of the largest cold chain logistics players in Singapore.

b. With the established Kokubu Group from Japan as a partner, we hope this tie-up will contribute to new trade flows between Japan, Singapore, and Southeast Asia, and also boost re-export flows through Singapore.

c. In addition, we are looking forward to the facility’s ability to offer cross-docking services[1] which will enhance the efficiency of domestic B2B logistics deliveries, and increase the sector’s productivity.

Embracing Automation, Digitalisation and Sustainability

6. Commonwealth Capital is part of EnterpriseSG’s flagship growth programme, Scale-Up, where automation, digitalisation and sustainability often mark a company’s progress.

7. CKL has invested substantially in technology and is amongst the first to establish a Supply Chain Control Tower (SCCT) in Singapore.

a. This will help CKL gain better visibility of customers’ sales information, including global shipping conditions and supplier output. CKL will be able to apply predictive models and machine learning to optimise procurement strategies and inventory levels. In addition, it can pre-empt potential supply disruptions or price shocks, achieve greater cost efficiencies and minimise food wastage.

b. The SCCT, when coupled with technologies such as RFID, will also be able to provide full traceability of products. This specialised capability will be a competitive advantage as customers increasingly demand transparency in their supply chains.

8. I am glad to know that the upcoming building here will be a built-to-suit facility which integrates technology and process design to maximise warehouse efficiency and productivity. It will be supported by a full pallet-based frozen Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS) and Automated-Guided-Vehicles (AGV) that will reduce the manpower needed to operate in the cold chambers. Furthermore, the use of collaborative robots and customised picking systems will better cater to the B2C market, where items are picked by individual pieces instead of whole cartons. These systems will improve the accuracy and productivity of activities while reducing manual work. The facility is expected to create up to 130 new jobs for the sector in Singapore.

9. I am also happy to hear that CKL will be incorporating sustainable practices in their business model by piloting reverse logistics. For example, used packaging or cooking oil will be collected from F&B customers for reuse or recycling on the delivery routes of CKL’s logistics arm. This will minimise any additional mileage and carbon emission.

Conclusion

10. Congratulations to CKL on reaching this milestone achievement today. We look forward to seeing CKL setting new trends and breaking new ground for the logistics industry. I wish you every success in the opening of your new facility and a bright future ahead!

11. Thank you.

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