This fireside chat recap is from FreightWaves’ Supply Chain Meets FinTech event on Wednesday.
FIRESIDE CHAT TOPIC: The China Syndrome: Using embedded payments to navigate cross-border buyer complexity.
DETAILS: Diversity is key as e-commerce firms are looking to expand their cross-border businesses this year amid world geopolitical tensions, including the ongoing war in Ukraine, which is creating supply chain disruptions, manufacturing delays because of lockdown restrictions in China due to COVID-19 outbreaks and other supply chain constraints
SPEAKER: David Messenger is the executive chairman of Hangzhou, China-based LianLian Global.
BIO: Messenger has helped over 1.2 million e-commerce customers grow their cross-border businesses through his company’s global platform, which provides payments and other services, including marketing and compliance services.
KEY QUOTES FROM MESSENGER: “No one can afford to have all their eggs in one basket. Up until recently, China has been the manufacturing hub for the world and we solely relied on that as the supply chain. With the risk of ongoing shutdowns in China and disruptions there, you have to broaden the base. I think it’s about becoming more diversified, more multipolar and looking at redundancy in your supply chains.”
“I think there’s going to be some rebalancing and certainly we see that already. Vietnam, other Southeast Asian countries are starting to develop those capabilities, but China built those capabilities over 20 years ago.”
“Cross-border sellers need a multicurrency wallet that allows you to receive any currency and manage your currencies and your FX (foreign exchange) that make your payments in different local currencies. As you diversify, you really need that sort of flexible financial platform to support the business.”
When asked by Webster to describe this year’s holiday season from buyers’ perspective, Messenger used the word “muted.”
“People are anxious, they are uncertain and they are gonna be muted in what decisions they make. And there are so many factors at play here. The macroeconomic level, down to the more local level, I think it’s going to be more of a wait and see, quiet, muted holiday season.”
SPEAKER: David Emerson is the senior vice president of Seko Logistics.
BIO: Emerson has more than 30 years in the logistics industry. He is responsible for expanding Seko Logistics’ global footprint between Europe, Asia and North and South America. Seko has over 120 offices in 40 countries around the world.
KEY QUOTES FROM EMERSON: “For us and for any customer like us, visibility at every level of the supply chain is key. And the more information a logistics provider like us can get is better.”
“I think where there’s always been a fundamental kind of disconnect that is over and above the normal merchant, customer and logistics provider relationship is more to do with how goods are made and the full critical path of a supply chain.”
“There are some tools available that we work with and we have a couple of them embedded in some of our technology that a lot of our customers use that give them some more metrics surrounding forecasting and demand planning.”
Emerson described the upcoming holiday season as “interesting” when asked the question by Webster during Wednesday’s fireside chat.
“I’ve never seen so much uncertainty in the logistics business, particularly in the e-commerce businesses, in the last six to eight months.”
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