Freeman Cebu Business

To cater to VisMin market: Pinoy logistics firm invests P100 million for Cebu hub

Ehda M. Dagooc - The Freeman
To cater to VisMin market: Pinoy logistics firm invests P100 million for Cebu hub
Airspeed founder and chairperson Rosemarie P. Rafael said the company is investing P100 million to serve the Visayas and Mindanao market with Cebu as its focal point.
Ehda M. Dagooc

CEBU, Philippines — Filipino-owned logistics firm Airspeed International Corporation is making Cebu its hub for aggressive expansion plans in the Visayas and Mindanao region.

The company is spending about P100 million to widen its penetration in the VisMin region using Cebu as its focal point, said Airspeed founder and chairperson Rosemarie P. Rafael in an interview with The Freeman.

“We believe that the opportunity is actually outside Metro Manila—in Visayas and Mindanao. We’d like to have Cebu as a hub to be able to reach other areas [in the Vismin region],” said Rafael.

With the investments, Rafael said the company is hiring more people including in-house and contractual riders, office staff, and other professionals.

In the last 37 years, Airspeed has established a total of 14 warehouses here and abroad. In Cebu, it operates a huge warehouse in Mandaue City.

The expansion will not only help micro-small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to boost their eCommerce business bringing their products to domestic destinations, but also to other countries where Airspeed is putting up presence.

Today, Airspeed maintains offices in the United States, in Los Angeles. It is also planning to build a sales hub in Hanoi, Vietnam, and also in Dubai.

Part of the company’s global expansion is establishing a presence in ASEAN countries and taking advantage of the Philippines’ trade agreement with member countries through the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) which the Philippines has signed into.

RCEP is a free-trade agreement among the Asia Pacific nations of Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, and Vietnam. The 15 member countries account for about 30 percent of the world’s population (2.2 billion people) and 30 percent of global GDP ($29.7 trillion), making it the largest trade bloc in history.

“We are going to go ASEAN because the build-up of the economy is emanating from the ASEAN Region,” she added.

According to Rafael, Airspeed will optimize these free trade agreements, particularly the RCEP to accelerate its global expansion helping Filipino MSMEs to reach the global market.

Part of its various initiatives is its partnership with Philippine Airlines (PAL) “to be able to reach the MSMEs in the Philippines.”

The P100 million capital expenditure is part of the company’s five-year roadmap which started two years ago, Rafael said making Cebu a hub, Airspeed will build warehouses in Iloilo, General Santos, Cagayan de Oro, and other strategies cities and provinces in VisMin.

Gearing to become a full-fledged supply chain integrator, Airspeed recently introduced its contactless delivery option in the country – Popbox, in partnership with Light Rail Manila Corporation. This smart locker provides self-collection and is convenient, flexible, and saves time for end users. It is initially located in 19 stations of the LRT-1, gearing to expand to more locations soon including Cebu.

Under the Amazing Philippines Digital Economy Corp., the business unit focusing on SME services and digital platforms, Airspeed has several projects launched during the pandemic. Kahanga- hanga PH is a proud Pinoy digital platform that houses Filipino products.              Through Speedgifts, Airspeed’s digital gifting platform is designed to take your business globally. The newest online platform – Pinaspeed.com offers a “Pinabilis nabooking, pinabilis na delivery, and pinabilis na pag-asenso” for Airspeed clients. This can help businesses to avoid the hassle of looking for a reliable logistics partner in delivering their goods.

AIC Group of Companies Holding Corporation, also known as Airspeed Group, serves as the parent company for multiple logistics firms, including Airspeed International Corporation, ASP Airspeed Philippines, Inc., ASX Airspeed Express, Inc., Amazing Philippines Digital Economy Corporation, and the property firm AGC Properties, Inc. — (FREEMAN)

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