Leigh Miller for GlobalAtlanta
Georgia will become better known in China as a logistics hub after a conference held by the Georgia Tech Logistics Institute and Schneider National Inc., Oct. 23-25, in Shanghai, said Chip White, a co-chair of the event.
The conference is an invitation-only event with attendees selected by the Georgia Tech Logistics Institute and Schneider, the largest private trucking carrier in North America. Invitees are primarily Chinese companies because Schneider is trying to grow its market share in China, said Dr. White, chair of the Industrial and Systems Engineering Department at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
“Georgia should be interested in this conference because 80 percent of the tonnage coming into the Savannah port comes from the Asia-Pacific region. Half of that comes from China, and probably a third of that comes from Shanghai,” said Dr. White, who is also Schneider’s national board chair of logistics and transportation and former executive director of the Georgia Tech Logistics Institute. “For the Georgia economy, logistics is important.”
Twenty-seven percent of the U.S. gross domestic product is generated by international trade, and “it is probably higher in Georgia because of trade coming through Savannah and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport,” Dr. White told GlobalAtlanta, noting that almost one quarter of the airport’s revenue is generated from freight.
The conference in Shanghai, entitled “Driving the Global Economy through China,” is the first event Schneider has hosted in China and is part of Schneider’s entry strategy into China, where it has had a relatively low presence, he said. The company held three previous annual conferences in Atlanta to showcase its integrated logistics capabilities.
“This is an opportunity for Schneider to tell Shanghai that they’re here and ready to do business in China,” Dr. White said.
Schneider has one of the largest trucking fleets in the U.S., with 14,000 tractors and 40,000 trailers. Based in Green Bay, Wisc., the company has an office in Atlanta. It recently acquired American Port Services Inc., a Savannah-based third party logistics provider.
In China, the company wants to capture freight to then move it to and throughout the U.S., according to Dr. White. The strategy of setting up operations in China to gain more logistics market share is called “feeding the beast,” he said, explaining that large companies like United Parcel Service Inc. and Federal Express Inc. have employed such strategies in China in order to capture logistics business headed for the U.S. market.
The object is to ultimately grow U.S. domestic business, Dr. White said. “The idea is to have an integrated logistics company that can pick up a product in Shanghai and deliver it in Denver,” he said.
The Schneider conference this year comes one year after the unrelated 1st Sino-U.S. Logistics Summit Forum hosted Oct. 20 last year in Shanghai by the Georgia Tech Logistics Institute. The event celebrated the opening of the Sino-U.S. Logistics Institute, a partnership between Georgia Tech and Shanghai Jiao Tong University that was created to speed up China ‘s development of logistics technology and to train logistics professionals.
The institute is starting a master’s degree program in logistics that will be a Georgia Tech degree, Dr. White said. Out of the master’s program will develop research activity focused on understanding logistics and supply chain management in China, he said.
The institute in Shanghai is modeled after an existing one in Singapore that is a partnership between the Georgia Tech Logistics Institute and the National University of Singapore’s Logistics Institute Asia-Pacific. The Singapore program has already produced 100 graduates, and 12 of them are now working in Shanghai, Dr. White said.
Visit www.schneider.com/shanghai.html for information about the conference. Contact Dr. White at (404) 894-2303.