Among others, food retail appears to be one of Asia’s fastest growing economies. This year, as populations all over continental Asia expand, rising income levels drive demand for food retail up. DHL supply chain recently surveyed more than 300 industry leaders in India, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam. The company’s Hungry for Growth: Logistics Trends in Asia’s High-Growth Retail Markets survey revealed that a quarter of those companies expect to grow by 10 percent or more this year.

Unfortunately, many companies remain unaware of their current logistical costs. Up to 37 percent lacked any KPIs or formal measurement for their supply chain performance. According to Dean Eichorn, vice president of DHL Supply Chain Asia Pacific, “Rapid increases in purchasing power, coupled with surges in demand driven by population growth, will yield obvious expansionary benefits to food retailer.” He does acknowledge that the most successful supply chain managers have the ability to swiftly adapt to industry volatility, season changes, and obscure market factors.

Of course, each chain has to take into account the cost of running a successful business. While many are still unaware of how much they spend on fuel, labor, and product in comparison to demand, there is a fairly strong recognizable upward trend. The key to truly becoming an Asian supply chain powerhouse is appropriately and accurately monitoring stable channels for advanced transportation management services, warehouse facilities, and reliable resource channels.

Headed for significant growth, retailers need to readjust how they internally handle business. In the words of Eichorn, “Food retailers need reliable, agile supply lines if they’re to focus on their core competencies and compete. This agility only comes from being able to manage the supply chain as an end-to-end process across transport, warehousing, and value-added services in a way that’s rapidly scalable without creating extra complexity.”

We’ll be able to see if Asian food retail supply chains are able to take this advice to heart.