Industrial landlord JTC Corporation is building a next-generation facility as part of its efforts to boost innovation and efficiency within the logistics industry, Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said yesterday.
The multi-tenanted JTC Logistics Hub @ Gul, which will be the first of its kind, will integrate a multi-storey inland container depot, warehouses and a heavy vehicle park. It is slated to be completed in 2019.
Pointing to how the supply chain management landscape is evolving, Mr Tharman, also Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies, said innovation will be "both a driver of efficiency and the key to addressing complexity".
"Singapore must offer a unique value proposition to companies - one that is built on solving sophisticated problems through research and innovation, and providing a conducive environment to pilot and commercialise new solutions," he added.
Mr Tharman noted that the new JTC Logistics Hub - aimed at catalysing the growth and transformation of the industry while improving land productivity - will help reduce the transport cycle and boost efficiency, benefiting especially small and medium-sized logistics companies.
"The co-location will also encourage collaboration across the value chain, thereby enhancing the competitiveness of the logistics industry," he said.
Mr Tharman, who attended a ceremony to mark the opening of a separate logistics hub by Swiss-based firm, Kuehne + Nagel, said that the logistics sector will "remain part of the lifeblood of our economy".
"It will offer strong career opportunities for Singaporeans.
"Through SkillsFuture and our collaboration with players like Kuehne + Nagel, we will make a determined effort to develop local talent in the sector, enabling Singaporeans to take on more sophisticated roles and eventually leadership positions."
Kuehne + Nagel's new 538,195 sq ft hub in Pioneer Crescent is part of the company's plans for expansion in the region. It is also expected to add 150 new jobs in the next two years to its existing 380 staff here.
Aside from the standard freight and warehousing service offerings, it will serve as a "regional centre of excellence" for high-tech, industrial, pharmaceutical and healthcare customers. The new facility costs almost US$100 million (S$143 million) to develop and is Kuehne + Nagel's biggest investment outside of Europe, chief executive Detlef Trefzger said yesterday.
Despite the uncertainty over global economic growth, Dr Trefzger remains confident of the company's growing prospects.
"Our strategy is not influenced by short-term changes," he said.
"Asia's economic structure is changing. We have to be here to spearhead those changes and make sure we are the first-movers, identifying new trends (and capitalising) on them."
This article was first published on Jan 5, 2016.
Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.