Hello X-press Feeders, Hello Mobile Office

An Interview with Vincent Liang, Director & Global Head of Technology, X-press Feeders

25 March 2021

“I am excited by how StarHub’s Mobile Office bundle can support remote work productivity, which is especially relevant given the current situation.”

Vincent Liang, Director and Global Head of Technology at X-Press Feeders, shares how StarHub Mobile Office is part of their digitalisation journey and the future possibilities of technological innovations within the shipping industry.

X-Press Feeders is the world’s largest independent container feeder carrier, providing container transportation services across a wide geographical network.

A Move Towards Digitalisation

“Digitalisation in the shipping industry has its challenges, but we’re constantly finding ways to future-proof our business.”

There is much to be done for digitalisation in the global shipping industry. Mr Chee Hong Tat, Singapore’s Senior Minister of State for Transport and Foreign Affairs, stated that digitalisation in the shipping industry will see two major benefits – significant cost savings and environmental sustainability, allowing businesses to stay resilient in trying times and enhance the global trade[1].

As reported by World Economic Forum, digitalisation is key for cost saving measures with document processing recording a fifth of transportation costs in global trade, and it is also environmentally sustainable with better maintenance schedules for vessels management[1]. With that insight, X-Press Feeders saw an opportunity to shift from a traditional file storage system to a cloud platform that enables convenient and concurrent collaboration across various communication channels across their six offices worldwide.

Beyond that, the team develops their own propriety cloud-based software to manage forecasts, planning of vessels’ schedules, identifying efficient loads, routes, speed and bunker consumption for business and environment sustainability. X-Press Feeders is also exploring predictive artificial intelligence (AI) to detect any abnormalities for their vessels to reduce operational downtime.

These digitalisation plans are key to future-proof their business and will be accelerated by new technologies such as 5G.

5G: Carrier of the good

“Connectivity is very important in our line of work, and with 5G, we can address any concerns or requirements onsite fast.”

The introduction of 5G will spur more possibilities of digital transformation with its low latency, ultra-fast speed, and reliable network connectivity. Vincent shared that such connectivity allows for the vessel management team situated in the office to attend to the berthed vessels efficiently and effectively.

With 5G, on-board inspections can be potentially carried out with higher confidence and ease of access to vessel-related documents via Microsoft 365 apps on their mobile devices. This will enable inspectors to conduct more thorough checks, and flag vessels or equipment that require maintenance or repair immediately by taking pictures and uploading it directly onto the system for follow-ups.

The convenient connectivity could boosts productivity and efficiency, which drives cost savings and better reallocation of resources.

Transporting the Future Possibilities of 5G

“In future, 5G SIM cards inserted into laptops can mitigate security risks so we can work in confidence from anywhere.”

One of the key concerns Vincent highlighted was the security factor when it comes to remote working. As X-Press Feeders handle large amount of sensitive data, employees who are connected to public WiFi or home WiFi that is not secure have a high risk of being compromised. The possibility of having a 5G SIM card inserted into a laptop in the future can reduce the risks of cyberattacks and provide reassurance on security for businesses to adopt remote working.

As 5G is an enabler for more innovative and high-power solutions, smart technologies such as autonomous cargo trucks and intelligent supply chain that integrates with consumers smart devices are future possibilities of advancing the industry for the new age. For the shipping industry, AI and big data, coupled with 5G, help businesses to improve safety through real-time event monitoring to detect potential abnormalities fast with predictive alerts.

While 5G brings forth endless possibilities, Vincent shared that “digitalisation goes beyond transforming our business new technologies. It is about leveraging the right technology and empowering employees to improve their skills”. 

Mobile Productivity: The New Destination

“Mobile productivity solutions like the Samsung DeX are important for business continuity, especially with the rise of remote working.”

The trend of mobile working is predicted to grow in the next 10 years, with most businesses adopting a 60-40 hybrid working model for in-office and remote working respectively[2]. With this shift in work structure, mobile productivity has been a key topic for leaders worldwide.

Vincent believes that at the heart of mobile productivity, a good mobile device is crucial to achieve work on-the-go. As part of the StarHub Mobile Office, Vincent experienced the Samsung Galaxy Note S20 Ultra 5G, acknowledging that the mobile device is effective for working on-the-go with its large screen and strong compatibility with Microsoft 365 apps. He highlighted the importance of the S Pen, which is great for scribbling notes while attending meetings and is convenient to drop his notes into OneDrive.

Communication with his team is key, especially in this line of business. With Microsoft Teams, Vincent can take calls and collaborate from anywhere, and this enhances better communications and collaboration. The Samsung DeX is perfect for mobile workers like Vincent, as he can connect his mobile device to any HDMI monitor to resume working or conduct presentations without the need of a laptop.

Expressing a good work-life balance

“Mobile devices are now well-equipped to support work on-the-go, so achieving work-life balance is easier now compared to before.”

As one who enjoys spending quality time with his family and shows his love by cooking for his family, Vincent credits having a good work-life balance to having mobile devices and solutions like the Samsung Galaxy Note S20 Ultra 5G, Samsung DeX, compatible apps such as Microsoft 365 and a reliable 5G connectivity.

Ready to future-proof your shipping & logistics business with 5G? Embrace the future of work with StarHub's Mobile Office today.

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