Unitex International Forwarding Limited

Hong Kong Site Visit
December 22, 2010
By
Eric Xiang

Key Personnel:
Mr. James Tsang, General Manager

Unitex International Forwarding Limited (Unitex) is a Hong Kong-based NVOCC (non vessel operating common carrier) with eight offices in China and four offices in India. The company was started by James Tsang in 1997 serving Shenzhen and Guangzhou customers.

Unitex differentiators are its expedited LCL (less than containerload) consolidation and its market emphasis. Southeast Asia, Europe and the Middle East are its primary markets. Its transit gateways are Singapore and Dubai.

Unitex competes heavily with air freight to Europe using its sea-air LCL consolidation products. For example, sea-air shipments take 12 days from Shenzhen to Dubai by container ship. With rehandling, they are delivered in 15 days. Overall transit times are cut in half compared to straight container shipments. Similarly, transportation costs are reduced significantly from direct air freight.

Several third-party logistics providers (3PLs) use Unitex as a booking agent. About 30% of its business is FOB (free on board) and 20% is directly from Chinese customers.

Unitex estimates it will handle 165,000 TEUs (twenty-foot trailer/container equivalent units) in 2010. About 60% will go to Southeast Asia and 20% will go to Europe. The Middle East and Africa constitute the other main markets. Only about 1% of shipments go to the United States.

Unitex TEU Growth 2001-2010E

Unitex developed its exhibition logistics business handling shipments for Shanghai exhibitions in 2009. Schenker and Agility are its main competitors in China for this business. Unitex looks forward to expanding its exhibition business over the next few years.

In addition to Shanghai, Unitex is expanding business in Northern China at Tianjin and Qingdao. Unitex’s vision is to build a more global network.

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