Interview with Zhou Shihao

Zhou Shihao
Zhou Shihao
Founder & CEO

What future do you see for logistics e-commerce platforms around the world?

Currently, e-commerce is the global trend. Due to long trading supply chains and complicated procedures, import and export were ready to be reformed by e-commerce, which is easier and more transparent. But, different countries have different rules for import and export trading. So, just one international logistics platform can hardly cover the entire logistics business around the world. From our point of view, every country will exist on one or two leading international logistics e-commerce platforms.

You have been in the field for over 15 years. What are the landmark changes that you have seen in the logistics business during these years?

The import and export trading logistics situation of each country are totally different. In China, there have been several changes in recent years. First, cargo owners' logistics requirements have improved. Earlier, they just wanted to send out their cargo, but now owners are not satisfied just with this. They are more concerned about related services during logistics, and hope to shorten logistics cycles and simplify related segments. Therefore, ShippingRen will provide a one-stop supervision facility to let owners feel comfortable, besides the convenience provided. Second, market competition is more fierce. Fifteen years ago, there were thousands of forwarder companies in China. Now, there are almost 100,000 forwarder companies in Shanghai alone. ShippingRen hopes to build real credit files and delivery and collection of cargo records, so as to help reputable forwarders gain more orders.

What are the key areas to watch out for in the international logistics industry in this decade?

Although the BDI index (or, Baltic Dry Index which is a shipping and trade index created by the London-based Baltic Exchange that measures changes in the cost to transport raw materials such as metals, grains and fossil fuels by sea) keeps decreasing, international logistics have been growing, because of a booming global economy and the continual reduction of trading barriers. International logistics transportation will be more convenient and three-dimensional. Shipping, railways, highways and airlines will construe a compact transportation system. And with the help of modern Internet and technology, transportation efficiency will take big strides.

What is the annual turnover of ShippingRen? What numbers are you looking at in the next five years?

ShippingRen was officially launched in January 2015. Our team has been engaged with this industry for many years. Although ShippingRen began service only two months back, the growth in the number of users on our site has been fantastic. Every day more than 1,000 new users register on our site. In terms of order turnover, we mainly adopt offline matching at this moment. Order turnover is around 50 deals every day. The online order system, including online trading and payment, etc, will officially begin in April. Then, the turnover will increase substantially. In five years, ShippingRen will have more than 5,000,000 users and deals on our site per day will be around 1,000.

How do you perceive the Indian market? If you were to expand here, what exactly would you be on the lookout for?

India has a huge potential market and we will consider stepping into the Indian market at a suitable time. As we know, foreign trading logistics operations are totally different in different areas, and it also involves some national policies. So if ShippingRen intends entering India, we will choose some local companies to be our partners so as to help avert risks.

There is a lot of pressure on the transport and logistics industry to reduce its carbon footprint. What is your stand on that?

Reducing carbon emissions is the trend of international logistics and transportation. We know that a lot of forwarder companies have already adopted more environment-friendly plans. The requirements of environmental protection will be much tougher in the future. This will separate winners from losers. Some small companies will be eliminated from this area. And that would be helpful in our industry upgrading itself.
Published on: 30/05/2015

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of

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