Catching-up with Xin Zhuang, Ahlers Logistics

Together with Xin Zhuang, Business Development Manager at Ahlers Logistics, we dived into the cutting-edge strategies reshaping market entry. From China's booming economy to the CIS region, we explore how Trade Facilitation model revolutionizes traditional distribution methods, offering a one-stop solution for global expansion without the headaches of setting up local entities.

Xin Zhuang
Xin Zhuang, Ahlers Logistics

What is Ahlers' Trade Facilitation model? How does Ahlers' Trade Facilitation model simplify market entry for businesses?
Ahlers' Trade Facilitation model is a game-changer for businesses expanding into new markets like the CIS and China. Essentially, it replaces the need for a local distributor or subsidiary, offering the benefits of having your own legal entity without having one. Through Ahlers' platform, businesses can easily orchestrate their route-to-market and outsource anything from transportation, import, and customs clearance to order-2-cash operations and local distribution. On top of it, with Ahlers' shared services setup, you get essential capabilities in legal, IT, accountancy, and HR to support your operations. It's a one-stop solution that simplifies business operations, allowing companies to focus on what they do best: sell their product. 

Ahlers Focus

Why is your approach particularly significant in the context of China's economic growth?
In today's dynamic global commerce landscape, businesses are always on the lookout for efficient ways to enter new markets without the traditional hassles of setting up local entities and managing complex supply chains. In China, where economic growth has empowered consumers with increased purchasing power, the significance of our model is even more pronounced. Chinese consumers have a growing appetite for Western products, spanning fashion, pharmaceuticals, beauty items, and ready-to-consume goods. This demand extends beyond domestic borders, presenting an advantageous opportunity for businesses. The trade facilitation approach offers a novel method for market expansion. We partner with specialized entities to simplify the route-to-market process and trade processes in complex markets, and adapt to the unique requirements of different industries.

Can you provide examples of how Ahlers' Trade Facilitation model has been applied in specific industries?
Our team assisted Difuzed, an apparel producer, facing challenges with their China supply chain. Key challenges included long delivery times, barriers to entering the market, and limited local customer service. Through our logistics model, we ensured fast local deliveries, streamlined order processing, enhanced customer service, improved supplier collaboration, and optimized processes. This resilient logistics infrastructure led to success in the Chinese market, with benefits including faster deliveries, better order processing, improved customer service, and optimized costs. 

Another example is from the coffee industry. After reviewing growth strategy in CIS region, a major Italian coffee producer was looking for a reliable partner with regional expertise, which could take away the risks and complexity of import/export business but also to help with compliance with all necessary regulations. We boosted customer’s local growth strategy through Trade Facilitation’s Master-Importer-Model. Aside from traditional logistics services our team realized this project through Order 2 Cash, Importer/Exporter of Record, and Trade Finance Solutions or HR solutions. Ahlers also supported the customer with Customs Formalities, Certifications, Local B2C Customer service, which are common challenges in complex regions. 

What are the strategic advantages for businesses partnering with Ahlers Logistics for trade facilitation, particularly in markets like China?
Firstly, we simplify and centralize supply chain operations, reducing complexity and operational overhead. By consolidating supply chain functions, companies can concentrate on strategic initiatives and investments while minimizing risks associated with multiple distributors.

Secondly, we help in mitigating financial risks and capital expenditure. Outsourcing supply chain management to trade facilitation partners allows businesses to limit financial risks and allocate capital more effectively for strategic investments. This approach empowers smaller distributors to focus on accelerating sales rather than worrying about financing supply chain operations. 

Thirdly, our model creates a scalable platform for market expansion. Trade facilitation provides a flexible logistics and trading platform, enabling companies to leverage economies of scale while mitigating supply chain risks. With Ahlers' expertise, businesses can effectively tackle challenges such as increasing lead times and inefficient stock management.

Overall, trade facilitation is vital for businesses seeking to enter new markets smoothly and cost-effectively. With Ahlers as your partner, the path to market expansion becomes not just manageable but truly transformative. For the companies, who are doing the first steps with their business in China, we have created the white papers available on Ahlers' website.