While in Shanghai, China, for BDP International's Supply Chain Summit, Chairmain and CEO Rich Bolte was a guest on International Channel Shanghai's Money Talks television show. Read on for some interview highlights.
Q: China's foreign direct investment was up more than 17 percent last month, which is the biggest increase in more than two years, year on year. Do you think that momentum is going to continue, can continue?
Rich Bolte: I think so. I often think that logistics is a leading indicator in these scenarios. We don't see anything in our business model that suggests that things aren't going to continue. Personally, I think because there's more in coordinated global growth going on right now than ever before, I think that will also put a strong foundation underneath the global economy. I think China will benefit as a result.
Q: But there are some challenges for the logistics industry. We're seeing a lot of the big players, especially some of the up and comers..a lot of companies already involved in e-commerce. What does this mean for a company like yours, because e-commerce companies have a big of an advantage when it comes to this arena, don't they?
Rich Bolte: They do and they don't. A company like [BDP], we specialize in the chemical, petrochemical, and life science industries. So you have to think about it: we have a dedication to handling for example, hazardous materials, dangerous goods, which means we have a culture defined by safety and security. So that bit of our model is insulated. But to your point, when you're talking about retail: yes, I mean Amazon is flying planes. This is a whole different world.
We have a dedication to handling..dangerous goods, which means we have a culture defined by safety and security.
Q: They have a lot of access to data...companies like you said, Amazon, etc. They have a lot of customer data, don't they?
Rich Bolte: They do. And the big thing in our industry going forward is going to be predictive analytics. So, of course they have access to big data, but it's what happens next. So companies like ours can be competitive because we will continue to invest in the predictive analytics side of things. So it will be a race. Data is actually available to all size companies, including ours. You're right - think about how close they are to their customers. That's going to be hard to beat. But I think if you have the right kind of niche, you can do really well.
The big thing in our industry going forward is going to be predictive analytics. So, of course they have access to big data, but it's what happens next. Companies like ours can be competitive because we will continue to invest in the predective analytics side of things.