Group strengthens SEA supply chain network with PHL Office

Australian logistics giant Toll Group today announced the official opening of a local office in the Philippines, expanding its entrenched footprint across Asia. The Manila office enables Toll Group to more effectively support Philippines-based businesses in their supply chain needs, empowering them with a suite of best-in-class supply chain solutions and access to regional growth opportunities.

Toll Group has maintained a presence in the Philippines since 2007, working mainly through local partners. This pivot towards a direct presence in-country provides Toll Group with more autonomy and control over operations and service quality, streamlining goods transition and coordination in line with industry best practices. More importantly, local businesses stand to gain access to Toll Group’s extensive global freight forwarding network, allowing them to tap new business opportunities that lie beyond the Philippines, such as regional manufacturing value chains.

The office is located at 6th Floor, Unit 604, Ri-Rance Corporate Center I, Block 2, Lot 16, Aseana City, Barangay Tambo, Parañaque City 1701, Philippine, strategically situated within the business district in close proximity to major sea and airports. Based on current market trends, Toll Group is forecasting its Philippines office to achieve high double-digit growth in the next five years, with focus verticals being the Industrial, Retail, Technology, and Automotive sectors.

Benjamin Bathan has been appointed Toll Group’s Country Manager for the Philippines. Based in the Philippines, he will be responsible for driving go-to-market efforts and building the local team’s capabilities for future growth in-country. Benjamin brings close to 20 years of supply chain experience, having held positions in Sales and Operations functions in the shipping and freight forwarding industries. Prior to joining Toll Group, Benjamin was previously the Ocean General Manager for a Japanese logistics firm, where he was responsible for all ocean freight activities, including P&L.

Bathan said: “A key objective of our direct expansion into the Philippines was to enhance access to global opportunities for local businesses.  Many freight forwarders in the Philippines operate through a partner-based model and do not personally own a global or regional supply chain network, creating challenges in visibility and quality control. The launch of a local office enables Toll Group to fill this service gap, offering businesses in the Philippines access to our extensive global network and Asia-centric expertise to strengthen their growth prospects amid the uncertainty arising from the pandemic.”

Connecting local businesses to global value chains aligns with ongoing efforts at the national level to tap the Philippines’ unrealised US$49 billion export potential via the Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP) for 2022-2027. Significant progress has been made in the area of trade facilitation, with the Philippines being ranked 3rd in their ability to streamline trade processes and procedures based on a United Nations survey.

Rajeev Sood, Senior Vice President – ASEAN and Indian Subcontinent, Toll Global Forwarding said: “The arrival of COVID-19 has made diversification of supply networks imperative for businesses not just in the Philippines but across the world. Today, uncertainties and supply chain bottlenecks have made a multimodal approach to transport and the ability to access multiple suppliers and markets critical for business continuity and resilience. Having a direct presence in the Philippines reaffirms Toll Group’s commitment to helping businesses across Asia navigate supply chain challenges and contributes to the continued expansion of our regional network and presence.”

From a business momentum perspective, the Philippines office positions the Japan Post subsidiary well-poised well for growth, especially amid Southeast Asia’s transformation into a key node for global value and supply chains. This is being driven by the ongoing diversification of supply networks as businesses seek to enhance their resilience to global shocks, as well as regional trends such as the rise of e-Commerce in Asia, which McKinsey research estimates to account for 57 per cent of the total market growth from 2020 to 2025.