About this series
Building Asia is a collection of business stories on CNA that examines the financial forces driving Asia’s position as an economic powerhouse.
Swift Group – Connecting essential supply chains is the 19th episode in the Building Asia with UOB series and was first aired on 29 November 2021. It looks at how UOB supported Swift Group with its acquisitions, digitalisation and working capital in order to become a more connected end-to-end logistics service provider.
Loo Yong Hui (Group CEO, Swift Group):
Swift Group, founded in 2011, is a fully integrated logistics service provider, with the aim to connect supply chains across from China, through to Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore.
Over the years, the logistics industry has evolved, so much so that supply chains are getting longer and more complex.
Today we are one of the largest, fully integrated service providers with services covering container haulage, land transportation, freight forwarding, warehousing and container depots
To achieve the necessary scale, we grew both organically and inorganically through mergers and acquisitions.
Two key acquisitions we made over the years were MISC Integrated Logistics and Tanjong Express.
With these acquisitions, we grew our fleet significantly and opened the doors to handle large multi-national companies.
Ng Wei Wei (CEO, UOB Malaysia):
We have built a solid relationship with Swift since 2017. We saw the potential scale Swift can achieve as a leading integrated logistics provider in the country.
Supporting this acquisition was crucial in helping Swift achieve its ambition.
We greatly simplified the process for Swift, working out financing arrangements and by providing them with the expertise and knowledge of the logistics sectors in markets abroad.
Our regional network in providing a single point of contact has connected them with our ecosystem partners in Thailand and Singapore.
Loo Yong Hui:
UOB’s funding, especially in regional markets like Thailand, has helped us expand our cross-border trucking capabilities.
UOB also created a sukuk financing program and extended our credit facilities during this COVID-19 pandemic.
The working capital facilities helped us to keep track of our daily business requirements.
And the sukuk programme assisted our expansion plans, such as small trucking services under Swift Express and our extension of warehouses in Butterworth, Penang and Tebrau, Johor.
Ng Wei Wei:
To fuel Swift’s expansion, we are also linking their financial supply chain with their warehousing infrastructure to facilitate their pivot into e-commerce.
Solutions like these add value to Swift’s business plans and connect them to growth opportunities in the region.
Loo Yong Hui:
There is still a lot more room to grow in the logistics industry.
Especially in terms of consolidation through acquisitions, and digitalisation of our operations.
The increase in digital technology, especially like what we have in our e-fulfilment centre will complement data and tracking systems with our current supply chain management.
We want to continue redefining what it truly means to be an end-to-end logistics service provider.