GPL – Global Project Logistics – Busan, South Korea

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Interview with

Mr. Insoo Kim
Managing Director

IS Kim portrait - GPL Korea

First of all Mr. Kim, please tell us about your background in shipping and freight forwarding. When did you start your career?

Immediately after graduating from university in Korea in 1984, I started my career at Korea Express Co., Ltd.  The company is now known as CJ Logistics.  I mainly looked after LCL ocean shipping dealing with LCL Navigation in Canada, which is now Vanguard Logistics.  I also handled the shipment of exhibition & convention cargos, working with the International Machinery Removal & Installation Providing Team of Beck & Politzer in the UK.   

In 1990 I joined Panalpina, which is now DSV A/S, and managed a business unit in Busan, covering international freight forwarding, Oil & Gas logistics, and the project management team until I established GPL, Global Project Logistics. 


When was GPL established and who are the owner (s) today?

It was in the year 2010 when I established GPL. Since then, I have been a sole owner.

South Korea has hundreds of freight forwarders, if not thousands. What is your speciality, and what kind of “logistics” do you focus on in GPL? How do you try to stand out among the competitors?

Yes, South Korea has thousands of freight forwarders, and the competition is very fierce. The key driving factor that allows GPL to stand strong is its competency in international freight forwarding, Oil & Gas logistics and project logistics that all our staff have achieved over our extended job experiences.  Oil & Gas logistics in Africa and Project Logistics in the Middle East are still the new areas for other competitors.  However, we at GPL have built a strong know-how by direct on-site experiences and direct investment.


How do you view the South Korean market in 2023?

I am expecting the 2023 market to be slightly better than the previous year.  Even though the Pandemic situation is going to the conclusive stage, many uncertainties still remain.  No one knows when the Ukraine-Russia war will end.  China’s ending of its COVID zero policy would be one of the big variables that will affect its neighbor countries. While the external factors make it hard to forecast the Korean market, the domestic factors help us to look at the bright side.  The Korean government is determined to eradicate the inefficiency in social structure and exercise the business-preference policy in favor of companies.  Thus, corporate activities will be strongly backed, and the logistics environment will be much improved.


South Korea has a wide range of active shipowners, both breakbulk and container, and is also known as a transhipment hub. Are you able to arrange transhipment via Busan to say Russian far east ports such as Vladivostok, Magadan, etc.?

It is true that Korea is geographically well-located to be a transshipment hub.  Certainly we are able to arrange transshipment via Busan.  Actually, we already have had a good experience dealing with the Sakhal-1 Oil & Gas Project in 2005.   Since then, the far east Russia shipment has been a part of our job scope. 


How is the current Covid19 situation in Korea? Do you still have restrictions?

Korea has fully returned to our pre-COVID situation, even though people are encouraged to wear masks in specific environments such as hospitals, mass transportation, etc. There is no test nor vaccination certificate needed to enter or exit the country.


Could you tell our readers about some of the major projects you have handled in recent years? I believe you have done quite a few into Africa and the Middle East?

Of the many multiple projects that GPL has handled since ITS establishment, I would like to take, as the most huge and successful projects, the STX 900 MW (Diesel Power Plant) Project in Iraq and the Mafumeira Sul Project in Angola for offshore and oil fields.  There was a reason why those huge projects were successful: we worked for and with our clients as one body.  Our staff was with our clients 24 hours a day and 7 days a week until the projects were completed.


When our readers wish to get in touch with you, what is their best solution?

I can be reached by email and/or phone.  Anyone visiting Korea is welcome to drop at my office any time.

Insoo KIM / Managing Director 
Global Project Logistics Co., Ltd.
No.2002, KNN Tower, 30, Centum seo-ro, Haeundae-gu, Busan, 48058, Korea 
T: +82 51 664 7998 | F: +82 51 664 7990 | M: +82 10 9580 4801
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