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Local Empowerment: Xie Fang

For DSV Solutions Singapore Managing Director Xie Fang, the opportunity to drive change locally and make decisions that stimulate the company’s continued growth are her biggest motivators.

Executives with deep local market experience and knowledge coupled with a global outlook and skillset often demonstrate effective decision making skills.  For DSV, a leading global freight forwarder and supply chain solutions provider, this means allowing local offices to make decisions based on market and customer requirements.

One of DSV’s key strengths is its company culture, which prioritizes local empowerment by giving local offices authority to make decisions, explains Xie Fang, Managing Director at DSV Solutions Singapore.

In fact, one of the strong drivers behind her decision to take on her role with DSV Solutions, the arm of the company that provides contract logistics solutions on a global scale, was the opportunity to drive change locally and be able to make decisions that work for the company’s growth in the market.

“We always stay close to our customers and customize our solutions to make sure we meet their business requirements and needs.”

“Local empowerment is an essential tenet of DSV, and something I believe differentiates us from other global supply chain companies. We have a relatively flat organization, allowing us to be nimble and efficient, making decisions quickly to address the supply chain needs and challenges faced by our customers,” Fang tells The CEO Magazine.

She has headed up the company since 2016, but her association with the company extends even further. She previously held the position of Director of Solutions and Engineering, Contract Logistics and Distribution for the Asia–Pacific region of UTi Worldwide, before it was acquired by DSV.

Since the acquisition, her role has not only expanded, but the team and business have grown significantly in Singapore. From a modest beginning with 60 employees and two warehouses, the team has now grown to around 500 employees and operates 14 warehouses, making DSV one of the leading global supply chain companies in Singapore.

Diverse Skills

Fang’s career progression aligns with her engineering background, initially in the semiconductor industry, where she gained experience in quality and procurement, materials management, spare parts management and planning. Her experience outside of the logistics industry has given her the perspective from the customer’s point of view, many times able to anticipate customer challenges.

“This experience has helped me understand the entirety of the supply chain and customer requirements, as well as giving me a deeper understanding of how to help and support my customers better,” Fang says.

During her time at UTi Worldwide, Fang was one of the pioneers of  Contract Logistics’ Asia–Pacific regional team. She had many opportunities spearheading multiple large scale projects around the region, especially in South-East Asia and India.

While in Shanghai, Fang showcased her expertise in solutions design with the design and implementation of the entire supply chain for a greenfield car manufacturing plant.

Fang worked alongside the Founder and Managing Director of UTi  Worldwide in Taiwan, receiving firsthand mentorship on leadership and how to run a business, from engineering and operations to profit and loss management. 


The time abroad also gave Fang a broader set of operational skills – working from 2009 to 2013 as a regional leader for the UTi Asia–Pacific contract logistics engineering team, which included traveling around the entire Asia–Pacific region, working on a diverse range of projects.

Building Strength Locally

UTi Worldwide is not the only acquisition DSV has made in Fang’s time. In 2019, the company acquired Panalpina, and then Agility GIL in 2021 – both of which helped boost DSV’s capabilities and footprint.

“The acquisition allowed us to tap into diverse resources and talent pools to achieve rapid growth and expansion. We now have the team in place to strive for organic growth and one of our facility strategies in place is the development of a new built-to-suit facility,” she explains.

“The new facility will allow us to address the long-term supply chain needs of Singapore. At the same time, the operational challenges of managing the operations can be kept at a minimum, benefiting not only the company but our customers as well.”

In line with this strategy, in September 2023 DSV commenced construction on ‘DSV Pearl’, a new built-to-suit warehouse facility in Singapore.

“Our goal is to offer the most advanced and sustainable warehouses that address the demands of the Singapore market.”

The warehouse will span 66,000 square meters and is expected to be operational by mid-2025. Once up and running, it will be DSV’s largest warehouse facility in Singapore. The five-story facility will boast a large floor plate of 12,000 square meters per floor, with a 13.7-meter-high ceiling, spiral conveyors between the floors and advanced warehouse automation systems to increase efficiencies in the storage, retrieval and processing of goods.

The design has been created with redefining warehousing standards front of mind. The company has invested heavily in automation and digitalization and will be charged with creating more high-value jobs within Singapore’s job market. The company is working closely with research institutes and robotics and logistics technology providers to ensure top-of-the-range automation, productivity and sustainability solutions.

The development is targeting LEED Gold and BCA Green Mark Platinum accreditation and will boast features such as solar panels to harness renewable energy to power the facility and onsite electric vehicle chargers, as well as a smart lighting system to optimize energy consumption.

Rejoice Container

“Smart and sustainable warehouses are key to driving the industry forward and Pearl will set new warehousing standards in automation and sustainability in the Asia–Pacific region. And this is just the start of our journey,” Fang says.

“We will continue to increase our footprint in Singapore, either through brownfield developments of existing facilities or greenfield developments such as a built-to-suit or leasing of facilities, based on what is available in the market.

“Our goal is to offer the most advanced and sustainable warehouses that address the demands of the Singapore market. It was designed to redefine the warehousing standards in Singapore.

“On top of serving the logistical needs of the market, DSV Pearl is also designed to give our employees a conducive working environment, which promotes wellbeing, collaboration and innovation.”

Making it Happen

Cutting-edge development and future planning aside, Fang shares that when it comes to what she loves about her job, it always comes back to its dynamic nature.

“The empowerment culture of DSV encourages dynamism and agility in the way we work. When we walk into the office every day, we embrace the different challenges and requests that come our way and work together as a team to address them. Hence, quick decision-making is a must and we come out with solutions that not only allow the company to grow, they also improve my team’s competencies as well,” she says.

“Over the years, I’ve been proud to witness how the company has been evolving, innovating and delivering successes for our customers, and our culture plays a big part in making them possible.”

“We have a workplace culture and programs in place to ensure we constantly provide value to our customers.”

Fang says she is proud to be part of a global company with global quality standards, but one that respects the value of taking a very localized approach.

“Due to the the nature of our business and the ever-changing needs of the industries we serve, we always stay close to our customers and customize our solutions to make sure we meet their business requirements and needs,” she says.

“DSV focuses on providing operational excellence and continuous improvement, and we have a workplace culture and programs in place to ensure we constantly provide value to our customers.

“Developing a talented and competent team is essential for us to grow our business. My management team and I strive to inspire our employees to continue the delivery of excellence and success, in turn mentoring and nurturing the next generation of leaders.”

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