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“I started as a sand and stone transporter in 1981. But the business was not smooth. I had to look for new opportunities and expanded to chemical transport logistics and distribution. In 1993, after careful consideration, I decided to focus solely on chemical transportation and sold all the lorries,” said Managing Director Wong Kok Koan.
From a humble beginning of only one tanker, the company currently has 150 tankers. It manages highly flammable and non-flammable chemicals, petrochemicals and other industrial chemicals. The majority of its customers are multi-national players.
The company uses bulk tankers or ISO-tankers to transport and distribute the chemicals throughout Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. Its tankers are designed to meet the specific requirements of clients to safely and effectively transport their goods on time.
“For instance, a lack of understanding regarding the proper safety aspects required for handling and storing sulphuric acid leads to catastrophic accidents. These incidents can result in environmental pollution as well as injuries and fatalities. Thus, to carry sulphuric acid, you need a stainless steel tank with 6mm shell thickness and double lined protective layer. We have safely transported millions of litres of chemicals annually. We learned along the way and gained a wealth of knowledge, expertise and experience in this area; this translates to higher safety levels, regulatory compliance and peace of mind service for our customers,” he explained.
Reliable Work Tools
Ninety-eight per cent of Chan Soon’s fleet comprises Scania trucks. According to him, Scania offered safety, reliability, durability and fuel efficiency along with driver comfort. “We need a real workhorse as the majority of our tankers operate 24 hours a day. This is to provide our drivers and customers with high-performance, efficient and reliable work tools that meet the highest quality and environmental standards. To maintain our competiveness, it is important to invest in and renew our fleet.”
The company also provides tank rental service and it has both bulk tankers and ISO-tankers. These tankers are made of stainless steel. He explained that a stainless steel tanker was extremely durable and could easily last 20 years or more. It did not really corrode, rust or stain, and it was easier to clean with little maintenance in comparison to the other available options. Thus, it was ideal to store and transport water, food and chemicals.
“We have recently purchased 6 units of ISO tanks from CIMC,” he added.
Wong revealed that Chan Soon’s greatest strength was having its own technicians, workshops and spare-parts department. “It is important to maintain our fleet quality and standard. With our own 10 well-trained technicians, we are able to minimise our downtime and get our tankers back on the road fast. Having our own spare-parts department also ensures the availability of genuine quality spare-parts at competitive prices; this helps to lower our maintenance costs.”
Currently, the company has two workshops - one in West Port, Klang and the other in Seremban - to support the logistics and maintenance of the trucks.
As safety was of utmost priority, Wong said the company’s employees were specially trained in the handling, transport and management of hazardous, regulated chemicals. He also pointed out that it had a stringent selection process for drivers. “We would conduct a pre-employment driver records check, including background and driving history such as traffic violation, suspension, accidents, type of licence granted and restriction to ensure safety. All newly recruited drivers have to undergo a series of training before they are allowed to go on the road. For existing drivers, we would engage third party trainers to provide in-house safety training on a quarterly basis every year.”
New Premises Opened
The company achieved an important milestone recently with the opening of its new premises on a 2-acre piece of land along Jelebu Pantai road, Seremban. The new building consists of the administration office, spare-parts department, workshop and parking space.
“We have invested RM7 million to build this premises to reflect our commitment to better serve the industry. Besides this new headquarters, we have 3 branches that are located in Pasir Gudang, Johor, West Port, Klang and Singapore, as well as a warehouse in Shah Alam, Selangor. However, we would move our West Port branch to Shah Alam very soon and open new branches in Kuantan and Thailand.”
Currently, Wong said there were only 3 big players in this industry including Chan Soon. The other two were public-listed companies in Malaysia. “With an average of about RM30 million in sales, we do have plans to obtain listing in Bursa Malaysia,” he concluded.
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