Damco aims to keep up with the rapid growth of Cambodian exports

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Over the course of the last 10 years that Damco has been operating in the Kingdom, it has fast become a market leader in providing innovative freight-forwarding and logistics services for Cambodian and multinational companies that are moving goods to large consumer markets whether that is by land, sea or air.

By offering a full range of services that include warehousing, distribution and customs services that seamlessly transports products from the manufacturer to the end consumer, Damco’s growth has been anchored by Cambodia’s rapid increase in garment exports and imports of raw materials.

“To put development over the last decade into a few words, I would have to say ‘fast growth’,” said Marco Civardi, Area Managing Director of Damco Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar. “This is not only in terms of the scale of the business and top line growth, but in the infrastructure which includes warehousing and increasing the number of staff.”

Damco currently operates a 16,500 square metre warehouse facility in Phnom Penh and is looking to expand as demand increases. In October, the company increased its office space in the capital by approximately 40 percent and currently has around 300 employees.

But while Civardi notes that Damco’s largest presence is in Vietnam, the firm has the ability to leverage its total of nearly 100,000 square metres of warehousing in the region— and its extensive supply chain network—to build on new and existing client relationships.

“Although countries in the region are at different stages of development, there are a lot of synergies across the markets that support economic development,” Civardi said. “Cambodia is benefiting from its own growth and overall growth in the region.”

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With client demand across the region continuing to expand, partly from the increase of manufacturing that is shifting south from China, Damco’s strategy is built on staying at the forefront of developing innovative supply chain solutions.

“What we aim to do is grow faster than the Cambodian market as a whole,” he said. “Our guiding principle is to challenge the market, and while understanding that we have to be much better than the market to meet our customers’ needs effectively and help them to stay ahead”.

To do this, Damco is focused on providing digital logistics that enables further growth by bringing greater customer satisfaction and fulfilling customer demand.

“Customer satisfaction has been key to our success, and it has helped us retain near double-digit growth in air, ocean, supply chain and trucking services in Cambodia,” Civardi said.

In addition to Damco’s impressive growth, the firm also prides itself in providing educational opportunities for its staff and providing them with the chance to work in other markets to help them better understand the global logistics industry and hone their skill sets. The firm plans on partnering with local universities to emphasize how important the sector is in driving the Kingdom’s growth, and providing stable career paths.

“Education is a fundamental part of what we do to help our staff and we are proud that we have been able to send our Cambodian colleagues to work and learn in our offices in Hong Kong and Singapore,” Civardi added.

Although far from being a newcomer when it comes to operate in developing markets, Civardi was quick to explain that historically, emerging markets have been the backbone of Damco’s growth.

“We have always invested in emerging markets, and to succeed in this as we go forward, we need to be agile and be able to identify new trends,” he said. “That is why we are looking to diversify the products we offer and the goods that we ship.”