Meet The Elite: Dimerco’s Eddie Law

Eddie Law, Dimerco Air Forwarders general manager Hong Kong on the state of the market, the opportunities in west Guangzhou and keeping fit

Tell us about yourself

I joined Dimerco in 1992, starting in our Taiwan headquarters. I trained over there for more than two years and came back to Hong Kong in 1994. I’ve been stationed here ever since. I started in sales and worked my way up.

Tell us about your business

We deal mainly with electronic components for consumer products, including mobile phone accessories and even the finished phones. Our main market is Asia-Pacific and the US. We still have some business flows to Europe as well. The components are shipped via Hong Kong to Southern China. That’s a lot of our business. We are the key agent for a number of electronic distributors in Hong Kong that distribute those products to China.

How has e-commerce affected your company in recent years?

Actually, we haven’t seen a major impact from e-commerce yet. It only takes up about a single-digit share in terms of global trading volume. I think we can work with e-commerce firms and help them with international port-to-port transportation. We’ve already been working with Xiao Hong Shu and on projects like this.

We also work with integrators and local postal services. When these vendors sell products to the Asia-Pacific region, we help move products to Hong Kong then get them to their final destination. Over the Pacific, they use our freight forwarding service, but when shipments get to Hong Kong, we serve as their distributor working with post offices. We also have some system integration with integrators. That’s why we can trace the status of all deliveries through the website.

Of course, e-commerce will keep growing and it’ll drive a lot of spending. When you have spending, there will always be a need for transportation. Manufacturing the products requires materials, and they’re going to need to be moved. For our industry, I think it’s both a danger and an opportunity.

What are the current challenges and opportunities?

In the Hong Kong market, there are challenges from neighbouring airports – especially Guangzhou and Shenzhen. Then there’s cost, as Hong Kong is quite expensive, and also labour. There are fewer young people willing to join this line of work today and this is a challenge for the whole industry. But there are lots of opportunities too. For example, the Zhuhai-Hong Kong Bridge will open up the region west of Guangzhou. Before, shipments could take a whole day to arrive here. In future, it’ll be closer to two hours. This will change the flow of cargo. Whereas shipments may have gone to Macau or Guangzhou, the bridge will make the shipment time the same as Hong Kong.

How do you keep up with the needs of the local market?

In Hong Kong, we mainly deal with transhipments – it’s around 80-90% of the business. There’s no manufacturing here anymore; that’s all moved up to China. Same for inbound. It’s mostly materials passing through Hong Kong to manufacturers in China. A lot of retail products in Hong Kong come from southern China. So as long as we build a strong platform, a professional team and an organised IT system, we will meet the demands of the customers. In fact, we do a lot of system integration for our customers.

Why Cathay Pacific Cargo?

It’s very reliable. Like us, it places great emphasis on professionalism. If we have questions about policies or regulations, I know that the Cathay team has the most up-to-date information. Also, it flies direct to many places from Hong Kong, so shipments won’t need to stop at halfway points. That offers a sense of security for clients shipping high-value products. The team is very willing to help us out. That’s why we’ve been able to maintain such a close relationship since the 1990s.

What do you do when you’re not at work?

I’m a sporty person. I like to work out and I still go out running every night for about 30 minutes. I also play golf or play badminton with my kids. I used to play football when I was a bit younger. As a family we like to travel, mainly around Asia or North America. That’s something we enjoy a lot.

Dimerco at Ocean Park