Savan Logistics – Laos

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Interview with

Mr. Jean Pierre Grzelczyk


Jean Pierre, so that our readers can get to know you, can you tell us about your history and career in logistics?

I started in the logistics business in 1976, first in Indonesia, then Iran, Iraq and Europe. Later, in 1990, I started working in logistics in Thailand. After ten years there I came to Laos PDR and am still working in this business today. 


Who owns Savan Logistics and what is your headcount?

I own a 100% share in Savan Logistics and the company has 175 members of staff. 


Laos is a landlocked country and thus must benefit from good relationships with its neighbours, especially from a logistics perspective. Can you elaborate for us on the trade between Laos and its neighbours?

As you say, Laos is a landlocked country, so we have developed multimodal road transport options that help cross borders from China, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar and Cambodia. 


Will you explain for us the obstacles (if any) that you face doing inland transport in Laos?

Since we operate at the dry port/ICD in Laos we don’t find problems regarding the East-West corridor. At the dry port, we have customs workers on duty seven days a week. Thanks to this, we enjoy a simple and comfortable process when it comes to import-export cargo customs clearance. 

Is trucking the main mode of inland transport? How about river and rail?


Yes, it is. There is currently no river transport, but soon, there will be rail transport from Kunming to Vientiane. These plans will begin in 2022.

Why is Savan Logistics a good partner to have in Laos? what makes your company special in your view?

We are the pioneer that holds the exclusive license to operate the logistics service at the dry port/ICD. We have put in place modern systems, e.g. smart tax, customs links and shipping line, available suitable equipment and vehicles. This dry port/ICD is the pilot project for the whole country. 


What about customs clearance in Laos? Is that difficult normally?

At the dry port, we don’t find any problems, as like I said we have customs on duty every day and we can also do customs declaration in advance with a T1 form and using ASYCUDA that links directly to the main customs office in real-time. 

Could you provide us with some examples of cargo that you have moved inland in Laos and that you are proud of having been involved with?

For eighteen years we’ve provided transport and logistics for the Sepon mine (the biggest gold and copper mine in Laos). We’re performing the transport of, on average, 50,000 tons per month of goods, including importing dangerous goods (sulphuric acid 98%) and exporting copper cathode. 

We also delivered two autoclaves (180 tons) from Nuremberg Alstom, Germany, to Sepon, and all other equipment for the mine.

Finally, what’s the best way to get in touch with you?

M (Thai): +66(0) 8 9939 2693

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