GeTS – Carriers of the Future!

As global trade is gaining momentum and attracting more buyers and sellers to have trades and exchange of goods and services, there is a huge responsibility and task on logistic companies. Logistic support requires not only seamless and all-around coordination but also a well-placed delivery and a connected network system, so the goods and services are intact, safe, and in pristine condition. Many companies are providing exemplary services and extremely supportive and direct service but only a selected few are not only doing the above but it is to their technological prowess and extremely thorough experience that sets them apart, from the competition in the market, putting them up as one of the fastest-growing logistics solutions providers in 2021.

GeTS (Global eTrade Services) is one of the best logistics solutions providers in 2021 but also one of the promising and upcoming coming company in the domain. They are one of the most prominent names when it comes to supporting unmatched logistics, without any hassle, service and delivery standards that far outweigh the competition in the market, and a team of highly expert personnel that make sure your products are safely delivered in pristine condition, along with fulfilling every other requirement such as financial requirements, compliance, etc. making them one of the most sought-after and fastest-growing logistics players in the market.

In conversation with Chong Kok Keong, CEO of Global eTradeServices. Let’s hear more about the company, its offering and the CEO’s professional journey.

  • Tell us about the company and the challenges faced during the initial stages.

Founded in 2016, GeTS (Global eTrade Services) is a global leading trade platform that is shaping the future of trade and supply chain with its innovative use of technology and deep G2B and B2B domain expertise. GeTS enables the orchestration of physical logistics, compliance and financial requirements of trade and supply chain seamlessly, smartly and securely, thus powering global trade by making it accessible, predictable and easier to fulfil. 

Our parent company, CrimsonLogic, is a partner to government and businesses globally. For over 30 years, CrimsonLogic has partnered with customers to innovate sustainable world-class solutions, products and services in Trade, Legal and Digital Government, enabling significant transformation that has positively impacted governments, businesses and communities. CrimsonLogic is supported by two shareholders, PSA (one of the world’s largest port operators) and Enterprise Singapore (a government entity that focuses on enterprise developments and growth of Singapore as a trading hub).

GeTS was founded to serve what we saw as an unfulfilled, emerging need for companies with global operations (e.g., global logistics service providers, importers and exporter with global operations). We saw the need for a centralised platform/service provider to connect and manage trade declarations, cargo manifest submission, certificate of origins documents with the various Customs and NGOs (e.g., chambers of commerce). As tremendous resources are required to understand and connect with various country’s Customs, single-window electronic operators and local value-added service providers, our view was that the trade community would prefer outsourcing these connectivity requirements to a service provider.

However, establishing connectivity to enable users to fulfil regulatory requirements globally through a single user interface has been challenging. Different countries have different regulation procedures, which resulted in complexity in establishing business rules in our system that would allow more automation. Secondly, the pace of digitisation varies from country to country. This makes the ability to establish connectivity and adoption by businesses less straightforward.

We are motivated by the challenge and purpose in ensuring GeTS’ services and platform are accessible to every country regardless of their level of technological advancement.

Tell us about the products/services offered by GeTS, and if there are any new additions.

As more SMEs go regional and global, we want to enable them to trade across multiple countries and markets easily. Through our key platform, CALISTA, shippers and logistics service providers will be able to meet the necessary compliance, logistics and financial requirements for trade with just a single platform. Our comprehensive suite of services—from import/export permit applications to cross-border payments and cargo insurance—removes the hassle of paperwork and helps companies to streamline their supply chain process.

CALISTA’s established network helps leverage advanced digital technologies and foster closer collaboration with partners in the businesses, governments and trade communities. Enhanced security of trade-related documents through its blockchain service helps improve transparency and trust between stakeholders and its established connectivity to customs authorities cuts downtime required for individual connection in multiple countries. The platform reduces inefficiencies by streamlining processes within and across countries and regions. Stakeholders will also benefit from the reduction of data duplication, automated handshakes across nodes, improved authenticity of data flow and access to accurate and up-to-date status visibility.

On top of providing added convenience, efficiency increased visibility of their goods etc, CALISTA also enables Logistics Service Providers (LSP) to work together to develop value-adding global supply chain solutions for their customers.

We have recently launched the U.S. eCommerce Import Programme. Our solution is transformational – saving eCommerce players a few thousand dollars per shipment while providing more flexibility in fulfilment choices while handling high transaction volume at ease. 

This programme is an all-in-one solution that supports:

  • Consolidated and automated compliance filing to CBP for ISF/ACAS, ACE Section 321 and Type 86 entry that is capable of handling a high volume of transactions.
  • Automated processing and smart tools to recommend the right HS code classification for better compliance.
  • Airport ground handling or seaport clearance and shipment deconsolidation for last-mile delivery. Users can also leverage on preferential last-mile delivery rate from our partner network that supports nationwide delivery. Linkages to linkages to major airports and ocean ports provide our customers more flexibility 
  • I 2021, we will be expanding our programme to provide an alternative cost-effective fulfilment service that takes advantage of Mexico’s proximity to the US and the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
  • Tell us about your professional journey

As CEO of GeTS (a subsidiary of CrimsonLogic), I am responsible for all business operations, including setting the direction and strategy of the company. I also double-hat as CrimsonLogic ACEO. Under my leadership, GeTS’ CALISTA platform has grown to become the most connected logistics orchestration platform, linking 90+ carriers and NVOCCs, 50+ ports, 60+ Customs nodes, 10,000+ logistics service providers in ASEAN and beyond. It also provides real-time trade advisory on180+ countries.

I have held numerous roles in CrimsonLogic since joining the company in 2006. I was the Vice President of the eGovernment Business Division, the unit that encompasses solutions & consulting business development, business planning & international operations, and alliance management. More recently, I was the Senior Vice President, where I took charge of developing and implementing the company’s strategic plans.  

Before joining CrimsonLogic, I held various key positions in the Singapore Trade Development Board (TDB) and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Between 1997 and 1999, I was TDB’s director for the Hanoi Centre in Vietnam. Concurrently, I am appointed as the First Secretary (Commercial) for the Singapore Embassy in Vietnam.

  • Tell us about the team of GeTS and how do you take care of them.

Our organisation is quite ‘flat’ in the sense that we foster open communication. This is also reflected in a physical setting. No one in GeTS has a dedicated office and everyone sits in an open office (before Work-from-Home during COVID). I have a group coffee session rotated among employees to hear from everyone. Often, our employees provide constructive feedback to improve our products and processes. 

During COVID, as many of us are working from home, we pay particular attention to the morale of our employees. Our coffee sessions have been continuing online and each employee is given some credits to order snacks to be delivered to their home. During the past few months, we have also delivered snacks to employees to enjoy with their families as a gesture to show we care about our team’s general well-being. 

  • Your views on constant vigilance as a need or strategy, and the rat race in the market.

Being constantly vigilant is a need in today’s world, and the strategy is how to achieve this in aligning business goals and without compromising on efficiency.

About the rat race, best not to think about coping. Otherwise, one would feel like constantly having to play catch-up. Perhaps better to always think and work on how to change the game and set a new paradigm in alignment with business goals. 

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