From Rotterdam To Klang Valley
Founded in 1847 in the Port of Rotterdam, C. Steinweg is one of the world’s leading warehousing and logistics service providers, with a long heritage of expertise in the commodity trade. With a vast network of 110 offices on every major continent, the Group has grown into a truly multinational company with close to 7 Million m2 of space and 20 km length of quay, handling over 25 million metric tons of various commodities annually.
While metals and minerals form a crucial part of the business, agricultural soft commodities is another big pillar, especially for South East Asia. The Group is also growing a significant presence in packed hazardous and non-hazardous chemical, offering the highest industry standards.
The main logistics services provided include warehousing, stevedoring, customs clearance, third-party inspection, forwarding and chartering.
Depending on customer requirements, suitable facilities and technology can be engaged to provide other value-added services. Customers are multinational and local companies including producers, traders, manufacturers, distributors and their financing banks.
In Malaysia, C, Steinweg incorporated its local entity in 1991 and became one of the first London Metal Exchange (LME) approved operators to operate in Johor Port Terminal 1 (since 2004) and Port Klang Free Zone (since 2009). In November 2018, Steinweg was again the first LME operator to list its built-and-operated warehouse in Johor Port Terminal 2.
On May 3rd, 2019, Steinweg Group proudly announced the launch of its Integrated Commodities Hub and Malaysia’s first European-Standard Chemical Warehouse in Port Klang. Besides cementing Steinweg’s leading position as the top LME operator, it will tap into rising demand for safe, efficient, and internationally compliant chemical warehousing in the fast-growing Port Klang area. Customers can also look forward to the convenience of one-stop value-add services such as repacking of chemicals and plastics, enabling them to maximise and localise their supply chain to serve regional markets via Malaysia.
Key Investment Considerations
“It is no coincidence that Steinweg Group has chosen Malaysia, and Port Klang Free Zone, as the location of choice for our first dedicated chemical logistics hub in ASEAN,” said Mr Ulf Boll, Global CEO, C. Steinweg Group. “It speaks volumes about the existing strengths and future potential of Malaysia from a market demand perspective and the ease of doing business that we as Steinweg Group have experienced here from an investor’s point of view. I have personally met with MIDA officials from HQ, Singapore and Frankfurt and after every meeting, it became increasingly clear that we have made the right call”.
“I remember vividly the very first meeting that we had with MIDA in Kuala Lumpur in 2014. They instantly understood our concept and value propositions,” recalled Mr Jos Muller, Business Development Director, Chemical Division, C. Steinweg Group. “We were immediately advised on what are the steps to bring the project forward, from feasibility study stage to conceptualisation, execution and so on. We even had the chance to host MIDA Chief Executive Officer and other high ranking officials at our Headquarters in Rotterdam because they wanted to experience first-hand our full suite of service offerings and strongly encouraged us to roll out in Malaysia.”
For C. Steinweg Group, other essential factors that helped to push forward the investment decision in Malaysia, versus other surrounding ASEAN neighbours, were the abundance of highly-skilled labour in the country, availability of modern infrastructures and the chemical industry’s convergence into Malaysia, both as a manufacturing cum distribution hub.
“Asia has become the centre of gravity for the chemical industry, especially speciality chemicals”, explained Mr Muller. “According to a recent study by Boston Consulting Group, the biggest markets as of 2017 were Asia-Pacific (with about €40 billion in specialty distributor sales), North America (€31 billion) and Western Europe (€13 billion). The remaining markets are all less than €5 billion.”
“To scale up our operations in Malaysia and serve this high-growth region from here, I am happy to share that we have found many young talented Malaysians to join our growing workforce in both Johor and Port Klang.The Group has put in place a comprehensive training programme for these high-potential individuals – where they will be trained and coached by experts from our Centres of Excellence in Rotterdam, Singapore and Shanghai”, added Mr. Boll. “We are keen to attract the very best of local talents, nurture and enhance their capabilities and give them good opportunities to advance and compete at the global level.”
The Way Forward
While keeping an eye on the two newly opened integrated hubs in Johor and Port Klang to ensure their smooth operations, C. Steinweg Group is already busy making plans for the next chapter. The Group has acquired 48 acres of land in Tanjung Langsat Free Commercial Zone, the next frontier of industrial and chemical production in Southern Malaysia with proximity to Pengerang Integrated Petroleum Complex (PIPC). Positioned as a greenfield project, the Group has opened up discussions with many MNCs who are existing customers including those in Rotterdam, Busan, Shanghai, Tianjin, South Africa, and received various feedbacks on the potential combination of services that could be required in Tanjung Langsat.
“The unique strength of our global network is that customers are already familiar with our standards and know what they can expect. This allows us to pull out relevant experience and scale up very quickly wherever we go”, said Mr Boll. “Couple this with an investor-friendly, business-ready and well-connected environment like Malaysia, the sky is the limit in what we can achieve together.”