Mandai Link Logistics: Transforming the Cold Storage Logistic Industry through Innovative Solutions
Mandai Link Logistics, CEO, Ms.Tan
Success rarely comes without struggle. Especially in the world of business, the path to victory is often littered with unexpected detours, roadblocks and dead ends. Amidst all the chaos, while it’s easy to abandon the ship and call it quits, few dare to sail through all the hardships to bring their vision to fruition.
One such organization that turned its stumbling blocks into stepping stones and achieved unwavering success is Mandai Link Logistics, a world-class cold storage warehousing, and logistics solution provider. Today, the pioneering company stands tall as one of the largest automated cold chain logistics storage in Singapore offering extensive services in procurement, storage, inventory management and delivery for cold food products by utilizing the most sophisticated technologies.
Inspiring Journey through Struggle and Challenges
The fascinating story of Mandai Link Logistics began in 2006 with a vision to create a seamless logistical network facilitating cold food storage and transport across the globe. But the road to success was not easy for the company. It had to overcome several hurdles to reach where it is today.
While recalling the initial challenges of the company, Ms. Tan, the CEO of Mandai Link Logistics shares, “In our initial year of establishment, our cold room was operating at -18 degrees; six of our strong and burly store men were on frequent unproductive cigarette breaks to keep themselves warm. Later they went on strike complaining it was too cold, walking out on us amidst a busy fulfilment period.”
This is when Ms. Tan had to roll up her sleeves and personally drive the forklift at the cold room for 8 hours non-stop. While many of the goods were stacked to a height of 5th level, she perfected it to a 7th level height with precision and stability.
Mr. Liew, the fellow board of directors corroborates, “Ms. Tan's reputation was well known across the entire cold chain industry as the only female management who drives the forklift!”
Under the leadership of such tenacious leaders, Mandai Link Logistics has come a long way from its humble beginning. Prior to the founding of Pin Corporation which is the holding company of Mandai Link Logistics, Ms. Tan was professional senior management of multinational German and Spanish companies. Boasting years of extensive experience in industrial automation, multinational exposure and a strong focus on technologies, this dynamic leader has brought-in an extensive level of knowledge and expertise to effectively shape the business and align technology to achieve the most far-reaching goals.
A Pioneering Adapter of Cutting Edge Technology
Since its inception, Mandai Link has been leveraging its core competency by adding several strong technological assets to its arsenal. In fact, it’s the first company in Singapore to launch a fully automated cold storage facility called Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS). The company made a strategic $43m investment with ASRS and customized it from Austria after surveying best practices worldwide from Germany, Japan, Korea, and Switzerland. These facilities feature a high bay store with a dimension of 30m x 60m x 90m which is equivalent to a 12-storey tall building. And it can accommodate 26,800 pallets and a staggering equivalence of 1,000 pieces of 40-foot containers.
In addition to this, Mandai Link also has a well-designed customer inventory management to effectively handle the orders and customized warehouse management system to track and streamline the warehouse operations. To enhance the capability of the warehouse, several rigorous industrial engineering aspects have been integrated into it. For instance, the company has a large, wide entry at the loading bay to filter hot-air and avoid icing. Many logistics providers unload the food in the 30degree hot climate of Singapore before manually shifting them into the cold storage. But Mandai Link’s spacious entry at the loading bay allows its cold storage trucks to upload directly into the cold storage setting with an undisrupted cold chain environment.
Even the freezer storage ground and flooring are designed with great engineering sciences with seven layerings which can withstand 130 tonnes. And great attention has been paid to the channeling of hot air and reused air for energy. The cold storage of the company boasts 4 temperate zones such as the freezer (-25deg), chiller, aircon, ambient (normal) climate. Under this religiously controlled atmosphere and temperature, the company is able to safeguard the integrity and shelf life of frozen products.
Other innovative features that set Mandai Link apart from the rest is the addition of Permatec system and solar photovoltaic panels to its warehouse. The Permatec system can reduce the oxygen content to less than 16% while injecting high nitrogen storage. Thus, it offers double benefits of fire prevention and prolonged shelf life of storage foods. Concurrently, to address the Achilles heel of high utility expenditures, Mandai Link has installed solar photovoltaic panels on a 34-meter-high roof. This produces a total of 878,284 kWh of electricity and reduces the 80,000 kWh of electricity per month.
Equipped with all these advanced facilities along with 10 container bays with a fleet of 12 efficient reefer trucks, the company remains the largest cold storage in Singapore.
Where Excellent Customer Service Defines Success
While many may perceive logistics as a brick-and-mortar warehousing and last-mile delivery services, Mandai Link goes beyond that to offer optimal customer service. Ms. Tan says, “I believe our excellent customer service defines Mandai Link’s success.”
One grateful client remarks, “We are impressed with Mandai Link’s service. There are many occasions when they go beyond logistics services to provide Quality Control report which includes market insights.”
Another customer shares, “Mandai Link to us is not mere logistics provider but strategic partners providing business intelligence. Through them, we are able to understand packaging errors, consumers’ preferences which help to improve our food quality and better customize it for our targeted customers.”
Such positive responses from its clients certainly testify its unwavering standards and market leadership.
Several Strategic Initiatives in Its Pipeline
With customer-oriented philosophy, strong values, engineering foresight combined with technological conceptualization, Mandai Link Logistics has been awarded on multiple occasions including Enterprise 50 Awards and coveted awards from Agri-Food Veterinary Authority. The company has also attracted support from many government departments including Enterprise Singapore, Singapore Food Authority and Jurong Town Corporation in partnership across numerous food safety, innovation, and environmental projects.
In all these discourses, Mr. Liew always emphasized that it is not just logistics services. He says, “Since the business conceptualization, I had envisioned that we serve a larger missionary purpose of the secured food chain to the world. We ensure food is available, distributed efficiently, remain affordable and is safe to consume within a secured cold-chain logistics.”
Moving ahead, the company aims to play a significant role as a strategic “cool port” in one-belt-one-road, a project initiated by the Chinese President Xi Jinping to build trade routes between China and the countries in Central Asia, Europe, and Indo-Pacific littoral countries. It can provide strategically secured food transshipment across the Asia Pacific, Australia, and New Zealand through Singapore.