Venturing East: Scarbrough’s Journey through Asia
At The Scarbrough Group, we offer a local presence and local trust across the globe. For a Kansas City-based company specializing in International Freight Forwarding and Customs Brokerage, that’s not an easy feat. But by pairing our import and export specialists with our worldwide connections and global business partnerships, we deliver on that promise guiding our clients through the intricacies of international trade. How do we do this? By making sure our global partners are more than a name on a list or a contact entry. They are our partners, an extension of our team. And that kind of partnership requires more than Zoom calls. It requires travel, learning the culture, and meeting our partners where they do business.
COVID limited international travel the last few years, so when WorldNet announced its conference in Kuala Lumpur, Scarbrough started making plans. Adam Hill, CEO, and Evan Moon, Director of Sales, headed to Asia for a 10-day, 5-city adventure through Asia. The trip’s objective was two-fold – to attend the WorldNet Associates Conference, and to meet with partners and customers in the area.
- Seoul, Korea – Meet with Goldway Logistics and toured their consolidation facility and offices.
- Kuala Lumpur – WorldNet Associates Conference. This is not your average conference; it’s a gathering of like-minded freight-forwarding companies from around the world ready to network, discuss trends in the industry, and broker new business partnerships. These companies share a common goal – to help each other within their respective countries. When we encounter challenges in foreign markets, we can rely on our partners to act on our behalf and communicate to keep each other informed. WNA also gives us an opportunity to reach multiple partners from across the globe at once. “In one day, I talked to the owner of the company we partner with in Australia, and 20 minutes later, I was talking to someone from Italy,” Adam explained. This mutual support creates strong, lasting partnerships and is vital to keeping the business flowing. Scarbrough was honored with the 2023 Member of the Year award during the conference.
- Bangkok, Thailand – visited China International Freight (partner) offices and Lucky Star (customer) to tour their factory.
- Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam – visited CIF offices (partner).
- Hanoi, Vietnam – visited Everstar SealandAir (partner) and Clark Material Handling (customer) to tour their factory.
Adam feels trips like this one are vital in our business. “Culturally it’s very important because doing business face to face is vital and we lost three plus years during the pandemic. I would always go once or twice a year to Asia. Then we went three years from going two times at least a year to zero. So just like anybody else, kind of out of sight, out of mind. And we are very much on the other side of the world, so we need to get over there to see them.”
During their Asia travel, Adam and Evan experienced a vastly different culture in a fast-paced environment. “It is definitely a different pace. I think that driving is always a fun one for me to watch. I like how different countries drive, it’s all different. Pace-wise they work hard, and they work late.” Adam continued, “In Asia, more so than anywhere, the entertainment culture is very different for guests. Here [in the US] you might do dinner and then sit at the hotel bar and have a drink, but you are basically done. In Asia, it’s very much a host mentality. They give gifts to thank you for coming because to them it’s one thing for them to fly over here and it’s another for us to be on their side of the world, their city, in their office. Just as much as we like to host people US, they like to host people and they’re proud of what they do.” And Adam’s favorite part? “Food is my favorite part of travel in general. Everything over there is served family style so I am always trying something new.”
Though Adam has made many trips to Asia over the years, this was a first for Evan.
“I was overjoyed with my first time in Asia. It meant a lot to me. I’ve been doing this since 2007, and I’ve never gotten to travel to Asia. Last year when we went to Europe, that was my first time, and this year I was fortunate to travel to Greece back in May, so getting to travel for me is a huge incentive. It’s always been a goal of mine ever since I got into this business. I finally get to achieve that and it’s a big accomplishment to bring it full circle” Evan shared.
Evan’s Next Stop: Germany
In May 2024, Scarbrough will be heading to Germany to attend the Interzoo Expo. Scarbrough is excited to meet face-to-face with more of our international partners and valued customers.