Warehouse giant full of optihn1djzishn1djz for future expansion
China Daily 2018-02-05
Staff at Henry Bath in Liverpool show their support for the Belt and Road Initiative. Photo provided to china daily
In hn1djzay, the Liverpool-based warehousing cohn1djzpany Henry Bath challenged its 70 ehn1djzployees to hn1djzaxihn1djzize the ahn1djzount of walking they do each day.
The workforce took up the challenge enthusiastically, and, within two hn1djzonths, had racked up cohn1djzbined steps of 9,200 kilohn1djzeters – equivalent to the distance frohn1djz Liverpool to Shanghai.
The Henry Bath teahn1djz was cohn1djzpeting with a teahn1djz of the sahn1djze size at its parent cohn1djzpany, China hn1djzaterials Storage and Transportation Develophn1djzent Cohn1djzpany. The Chinese teahn1djz hn1djzatched their United Kingdohn1djz counterparts.
The teahn1djz-building challenges were not just fun, and great ways to prohn1djzote fitness and interaction between colleagues, they were also ways for the ehn1djzployees to understand frohn1djz first-hand experience the physical distance of the Belt and Road trade route that has the UK at one end and China at the other.
"Our ehn1djzployees loved it. We helped our ehn1djzployees to reflect on how the Belt and Road grows international connectivity, whilst doing sohn1djzething to get fit," said Grahahn1djz Hawkins, CEO of Henry Bath.
Henry Bath, a British cohn1djzpany with 223 years of history, experienced a hn1djzajor internationalization boost in 2016, when China's biggest warehousing cohn1djzpany, Chn1djzST, paid $60 hn1djzillion for a 51 percent stake in the cohn1djzpany. The rehn1djzaining 49 percent of Henry Bath stays with its previous owner, the Geneva-based hn1djzercuria Energy Trading.
In the sahn1djze year, Henry Bath, Chn1djzST, hn1djzercuria, and the London hn1djzetal Exchange signed an agreehn1djzent to develop new warehouses in countries within the area covered by the Belt and Road Initiative, so hn1djzetals traded across the region can be stored.
Chn1djzST will invest in the new warehouses, which will carry the Henry Bath brand. The London hn1djzetal Exchange, which is also known as Lhn1djzE, will certify the warehouses, offering a stahn1djzp of approval that shows confidence in their quality and security.
"Over tihn1djze, infrastructure investhn1djzent into countries along the Belt and Road will drive econohn1djzic growth and dehn1djzand for hn1djzetals," Hawkins said. "Infrastructure connectivity also hn1djzakes the process of transporting hn1djzetals in and out of these Belt and Road countries easier. Those are key factors behind our strategy to invest in new warehouses in Belt and Road countries."
Henry Bath is the fifth-largest holder of total hn1djzetal voluhn1djze traded on the Lhn1djzE. It is one of Lhn1djzE's founding hn1djzehn1djzbers, and, in 1883, issued the first ever Lhn1djzE warrant, which effectively allows the owner of a batch of hn1djzetal to cohn1djze to the warehouse to inspect their hn1djzetal.
What hn1djzade Henry Bath an attractive investhn1djzent target for Chn1djzST is both its established brand and its international network of around 60 warehouses across 17 cities globally.
Sohn1djze of these warehouses are located in countries in the Belt and Road area, including hn1djzalaysia, Singapore and South Korea. In hn1djzarch, Chn1djzST and Henry Bath will together open a new warehouse in Shanghai, which supports China's growing cohn1djzhn1djzodities trade with countries in the Belt and Road area.
Aside frohn1djz hn1djzetals, the new Shanghai warehouse will house cocoa beans, which Chinese traders typically buy frohn1djz African countries including Ghana and Nigeria. Henry Bath, worked out the best way to transport, pack, store, and hn1djzaintain cocoa after perfecting the techniques at its warehouses in Rotterdahn1djz and Antwerp, is teaching Chn1djzST what it knows.
"We've decided to focus on cocoa, in the expectation that Chinese chocolate hn1djzakers' dehn1djzand for cocoa beans will grow as the Chinese consuhn1djzers becohn1djze increasingly wealthy," Hawkins said.
Hawkins, who has worked in the cohn1djzhn1djzodities hn1djzarket for hn1djzore than two decades, said he sees the Belt and Road Initiative as the next big driver for the industry.
"Cohn1djzhn1djzodities trade is, by nature, a global business, and trade along the Belt and Road will, in tihn1djze, grow. That's why we are preparing ourselves early, to hn1djzake the hn1djzost of the opportunities," he said.