BIZ BUZZ: Rethinking logistics
There was a time when everyone wanted to pour money into the highly fragmented logistics space, seeing the opportunities presented by the e-commerce boom. But now, the group of businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan (MVP) is moving to rationalize and refocus its interest in the sector.
The logistics arm of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) has given up its trucking and forwarding operations. “We found that too problematic and now we are just winding down on the unprofitable warehousing operations that we have,” MPIC president Jose Ma. Lim explained in a recent media briefing.
This does not mean preterminating existing contracts, however. Instead, such contracts will be allowed to expire without renewal.
But MPIC is not bowing out of the logistics space.
“Our plan is to find a stronger platform from which we can enter into the area of e-commerce, where we believe the market is in great need of service. So that’s going to be the direction where we’re headed,” Lim said.
“By a stronger platform, what I mean is, we would look into existing strong operators—people who have a proven track record [and] either acquire or at least buy into this platform,” he explained.
Instead of building such platforms from scratch, MVP’s group will just do what it has been successful at doing for a long time (particularly in the hospital space): find mature enterprises in need of white knight and unlock values and efficiencies.
Studies have shown that the prolonged pandemic and the consequent work-from-home arrangements have driven affluent folks out of the metropolis to more spacious residences, preferably in seaside developments, jacking up property prices at residential resort communities.
MPIC’s leisure estate arm, Landco Pacific Corp., is among those enjoying such windfall.
“They are hitting their all-time [high] sales records because of the surge of interest in residential resort project,” Lim said.MPIC, for its part, has committed to support two of Landco’s thriving seaside projects, one in Laiya and another in Calatagan.Under its leisure tourism estates or “LTE” concept, Landco offers master-planned developments with mixed-use residential and commercial lots. There is the 24-hectare Club Laiya and the 15-hectare CaSoBē (short for Calatagan South Beach) in Batangas province. Another one is located in Samal Island, Davao.
The Seaside District at Club Laiya, San Juan, is designed as a contemporary resort destination that promotes an active lifestyle, offering water sports and activities such as windsurfing, kayaking and yachting. On the other hand, the Harbour Estates project, which offers lots within CaSoBē, advertises a more laidback resort lifestyle in a more intimate setting.
Landco’s resort arm, Millennial Resorts, operates water amenities and guest rooms in these resort communities.
After giving the public a foretaste of its efficient system for administering Moderna vaccines, Solaire Resort and Casino also took some time to look inward and take care of its own employees.
As a result, all of the employees of the luxury integrated resort owned by tycoon Enrique Razon Jr. are now fully vaccinated. Take note: full, and not just partially, vaccinated.
Solaire has now shifted its attention to getting the dependents of its employees vaccinated as well.
Of course, Solaire, together with the corporate foundation of its sister company International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI), procured Moderna vaccines for its team members as well as five of their dependents at no cost to the team members.
The Solaire-ICTSI Foundation Inc. Vaccination Center (SIVC), located within Solaire, was the venue for the rollout of the vaccination program for team members that began late June. Selected areas of The Theatre at Solaire were converted to accommodate a robust vaccination process that supports both drive-through and onsite appointments.
More importantly, the SIVC vaccine system uses the latest in mobile technology developed by Zuellig Pharma, utilizing QR codes embedded with the vaccine recipient’s information for a quick, efficient and safe vaccine administration.
Of course, the vaccination program is only part of Solaire’s masterplan for recovery.
Since 2020, employees have continuously and regularly undergone swab tests, which Solaire initiated to make sure that each team member is not a carrier of the virus and does not pose any risk to their own families or to others.
The hope now is that this kind of efficiency will be replicated once the rest of the Moderna vaccine orders arrive over the next few months. The question that’s keeping everyone up at night, though, is: “When?” Abangan!
—Daxim L. Lucas
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