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Martin Siu

Innovate and seize the opportunity, accompanying the rise of the logistics industry
Martin Siu, a graduate of BBA in Entrepreneurship and Marketing in 1999. During his university years, he developed a strong passion for making friends and socializing. This led him to embark on a career in sales at a Taiwan-based shipping company after graduation. Over the past 20 years, he has built a solid foundation in the logistics industry. Today, Martin serves as the General Manager at K-APEX Logistics (HK) Company Limited, a subsidiary of Kerry Logistics Network, leading a team of over 70 members. Despite his busy work schedule, he actively engages with the University by participating in the yearly mentorship program, where he generously shares his valuable work experiences with students.
Throughout his university years, Martin demonstrated strong organizational abilities and actively participated in a variety of activities. For instance, he was a captain of The Third Lingnan University Lion Dance and Martial Art Team, where he held the tail position. Despite the team's relatively small size, Martin and his teammates developed a close bond and maintained contact with each other and their former master teachers. Besides, he had multiple part-time jobs to gain valuable work experience and support his daily expenses, he worked as a tutor at the Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong, organizing community activities like short tours and recycling initiatives. He also took the initiative to encourage his hallmates to support charitable causes through donations and event participation. Additionally, he conducted interview questionnaires for government departments and worked as a freelance private tutor. "I learned to rely on myself, even on the day before exams, while juggling my part-time jobs." Martin recalled. In addition to his studies, he participated in social welfare activities through exchange programs. During the summer, he travelled to Beijing and volunteered as an English teacher and visited an elderly care home in the United States.
The 1997 Asian Financial Crisis had a significant impact on Far East Asia, and one of the major challenges faced by graduates during that time was finding a job. Martin submitted his resume to various companies. Eventually, he received a job offer in sales from Wan Hai Lines(HK) Limited, a Taiwan-based shipping company. Through his hard work and dedication, he later earned a promotion and moved on to another logistics company.

He noted that when he entered the logistics industry, container terminals and the air cargo industry in Hong Kong were highly regarded. However, times have changed. Mainland China is now opening up to the outside world, the role of Hong Kong as a transit point and stepping stone has shifted. Many shipments from Mainland China now have direct flights to destinations outside, the business focus has also shifted from Hong Kong to Mainland China. In light of these changes, Martin encourages students to equip themselves to face challenges beyond Hong Kong. "Although my station is based in Hong Kong, I am also responsible for the shipping business in Shenzhen, Guangzhou, and Zhongshan, so I frequently travel to ports in Mainland China, such as Qingdao, Ningbo, Shanghai, Xiamen, and Greater Bay Area as well." He stated.

The logistics industry has undergone significant changes due to the pandemic. According to Martin, Hong Kong has always been recognized for its efficient customs clearance, leading many clients to prefer shipping to Hong Kong rather than Yantian Port in Shenzhen despite the higher costs and expenses. However, the pandemic has disrupted this practice. The lockdown in Shenzhen has prevented trucks from outside the city from entering, including cross-border shipments to Hong Kong. Manufacturers and businesses have had to adjust their workflows and utilize ports in Mainland China for transit. Although travel and cross-border logistics operations between Hong Kong and the Mainland China have fully resumed, many clients have become accustomed to the "new normal" as a cost-saving measure. Consequently, a significant number of them have chosen not to revert to exporting goods through Hong Kong. Martin considers himself fortunate as he had already established business opportunities in Mainland China beforehand, enabling him to capitalize on these prospects even in the present circumstances.
Due to the growing popularity of e-commerce platforms, online shopping has become a prevailing trend, leading to the integration of AI and digitalization in the logistics industry. Martin highlighted that their company experiences annual growth, and the group has expanded through mergers and acquisitions. "We utilize robotic machines in our warehouses for systemization and sorting, enabling us to handle a higher volume of cargo and streamline our workflow," Martin explained.
Furthermore, he elaborated that despite the incorporation of AI technology, their distribution tasks still require a significant amount of manpower. Even with AI, they still rely on IT experts to maintain the systems. Technology can enhance and streamline processes, improving efficiency and speeding up information circulation. For instance, Kerry Express handles numerous parcels daily and employs digitalization for real-time tracking. Both Kerry Express and their clients can easily track the status of parcels through digital means. Martin emphasized the importance of communication which will be hard to completely replaced by AI.
Martin actively engages with Lingnan University and participate in the mentorship program every year after graduating in order to share his work experiences with current students. He has noticed that the university has become more diverse, with a significant number of students coming from Mainland China. One of his mentees, who majored in accounting, successfully joined one of the big four accounting firms after graduation. He emphasizes the importance of broadening one's ideas and horizons, as students need to be prepared to face global competition. "Hong Kong is an international city, and alongside overseas graduates, there are many outstanding graduates from Mainland China," He believes that the true key to success in finding a job lies in one's actual abilities and strengths.
He recommends that students mentally gear themselves up to seize international work opportunities, especially in the Greater Bay Area. He also emphasizes the importance of enhancing their English and Mandarin language skills. In his professional experience, he frequently interacts with colleagues from Mainland China and the United States, reinforcing his belief that robust communication skills can significantly contribute to career advancement.