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HKTDC Interviews Janio-ASEAN E-commerce: Empowering E-commerce with Integrated Logistics Solutions

Written by
Benedict Leong
Published on
January 5, 2022
Updated on
June 7, 2023

Interview with Nathaniel Yim, Co-Founder and Senthil Kumar, Group Head of Commercial of Janio

Last December, Janio’s Co-Founder Nathaniel Yim and Janio’s Group Head of Commercial, Senthil Kumar spoke with Hong Kong Trade Development Council’s (HKTDC) David Sit to discuss the challenges that e-commerce players face and how Janio presents them with tailored and flexible one-stop solutions. Below is a summary of the full article which you can find on HKTDC’s website.

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated digital transformation worldwide, with online shopping becoming the predominant buying channel for 45 percent of consumers in Southeast Asia. However, shipping and delivery in this region can be challenging with fragmented logistics infrastructure, complicated regulations and complex consumer habits.

Janio helps e-commerce players by integrating the key functions of a logistics network from local delivery, international shipment, customs clearance, and cash on delivery. By partnering various local and international network partners, Janio optimizes its users supply chains while coordinating the information flow across all partners to ensure efficient shipments.

Currently, Janio specializes in services to e-commerce players and consumer goods brands by working with different platforms and partners to provide tailor-made solutions. These partners include Shopify and Bukalapak among others.

International shipping for e-commerce sellers can be expensive, but Janio stands out by adding flexibility and choice for these sellers. “If an e commerce seller wants to ship from Hong Kong to Indonesia, choices are often limited to big courier companies with high delivery costs. We offer them a flexible tradeoff between rapid delivery with higher courier charges and low cost delivery with a longer timeframe.”

The diversity of markets across Southeast Asia requires deep local knowledge and strong networks to maintain efficient operations. To ensure that Janio’s services are up to standard, Janio uses proprietary software to collect and analyse information on its partners’ performance then allocating volumes based on that performance.

Challenges Faced by E-commerce sellers in Southeast Asia

The differences in customs regulations and tariffs between Southeast Asian countries must be carefully studied before doing business and logistics in the region. While Janio keeps up to date with regional customs updates, Senthil Kumar and Nathaniel Yim note that “It is important for e commerce sellers, especially the MSMEs, to understand the characteristics of different ASEAN markets, and so we have compiled a series of e books and case studies to provide market information and things to note when shipping to the ASEAN countries.”

According to Fitch Solutions’ estimates, around 290 million consumers in the region do not have banking facilities and cannot pay online via credit cards, debit cards or bank transfers. Therefore, Janio provides cash on delivery management services. Janio’s cash on delivery service allows for customized cash on delivery remittance schedules, allowing e-commerce sellers to hedge exchange rates or other associated risks.

While the COVID-19 pandemic caused large delays in shipping, Janio responded by providing alternative routes and logistics solutions to keep e-commerce moving. Nathaniel Yim explained: “Many flights between Singapore and Malaysia were cancelled at the time. We managed to provide truckers for cross border transits of the goods. So, although the pandemic caused disruption to our business, it also showcased our capabilities to respond to new challenges.”

At present, logistics in the ASEAN region are gradually returning to normal as economic activities resume. However, stresses on logistics services may continue as consumer demand grows alongside economic recovery.

Looking to the future, Janio is planning an expansion into the Greater Bay Area (GBA). “Covid has delayed our plan to open offices in Hong Kong. Currently we have an office in Shenzhen, but we are planning to open offices in Guangzhou and Hong Kong to enhance our presence and visibility among merchants in the region.” Janio’s services are expected to be extended to include shipping to the US and Australia for their e-commerce sellers in the next few years.

This is a summarized version of HKTDC’s original article. You can find the original article published on HKTDC’s website here.