The Vietnamese resort city of Da Nang was the focus of the logistics industry last month, when the Combined Logistics Network (CLN) held its annual conference during 14-17 March at the Pullman DaNang Beach Resort Hotel.

Mark Millar was engaged as the keynote speaker for the conference, which marked the 15th anniversary of the CLN group – one of the premiere and most established freight forwarder networks, with a global membership comprising over 300 independent international forwarders.

Mark’s presentation on the Convergence of Logistics and Trading explored a wide range of themes, beginning with Global Trade and Facilitation, and then discussing Globalisation Trends before examining the symbiotic nature of Trade & Logistics.


Integrated Logistics and Transport represent the glue that connects and empowers global supply chain ecosystems, said Mark. Customers are demanding better logistics solutions from their service providers, with a particular focus on speed, flexibility and visibility.

Increasing the efficiency of logistics solutions can reduce costs by 30%, shorten transit times by almost two-thirds and drive 20-40% more trade, said Mark.

He also noted the increasing need for Importer of Record and Exporter of Record services – often provided by freight forwarders or third party logistics providers – to help customers ensure fast, smooth and reliable imports and exports around the world.

A strong trade compliance program is also essential for reducing risk and shipment delays and avoiding costly mistakes such as fines, penalties or the loss of import-export privileges, said Mark.

Finally, he highlighted the latest trends in right-shoring strategies. As the real costs of off-shoring become more transparent – for example through increasing wages, extended transit times, the need for re-work or the management challenges of dealing across different cultures, languages and time zones – many companies are turning instead to on-shoring and re-shoring.

Regarding the implications of on-shoring for freight forwarding, Mark referenced Stifel research which pointed out that when a product is produced entirely within a continent or a country, freight will be touched domestically 8-12 times, rather than the 2-3 times it will be touched within the consuming continent or country when a product is produced overseas and imported.

Ms Huyen, Nguyen Thi Kim, CEO of Global Maritime Services Co – one of the leading sponsors of the conference - delivered a presentation reviewing the Vietnam logistics market.

With the economy continuing to grow by 6.7%, it is expected that more than 100,000 new enterprises will set up in Vietnam, boosting the competitiveness of the market, said Ms Kim.

Looking ahead to 2017, she pointed out that whether or not the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is approved, Vietnam’s economy will continue to expand, with other trade agreements still going ahead.

Among the trends likely to have the greatest impact in 2017 are high-tech manufacturing transforming the market, outsourcing, the expansion of mobile applications, big data, just-in-time manufacturing and greater concern for the environment, predicted Ms Kim.

Over 250 delegates from 58 countries around the globe attended the conference, which provided an excellent platform for CLN members to nurture existing ties with fellow members and develop new relationships and business opportunities. The gathering in Da Nang also welcomed several new members, recognised achievements in the sector and rewarded loyal members.

Visit the official CLN 15th Annual Partnership Meeting Post Event Summary

Mark’s keynote presentation is now available for purchase. To enjoy a 20% discount, please use coupon code CLN2017DANANG.