Twinchok Tanthuwanit, President of Regional Container Lines


According to Twinchok Thantuwanit, the unpredictability of the container shipping industry is a double-edged sword.

“It’s an exciting industry,” said Twinchok, president of Regional Container Lines (RCL). CEO magazine.

“But then, in the excitement, you have to be prepared. That’s the name of the game. Because a lot of things can change quickly, and you have to be on your toes to handle the situation.

From economic challenges to a global pandemic – “Who would have anticipated COVID-19? – Twinchok is enthusiastic that preparation, combined with a dedicated team that shares a common goal, are the solutions to face all storms, whatever the external factors.

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We look at things with a long-term perspective, to create a level of trust that can go a long way.

“The key to success, in my opinion, is the employees, the people working together,” says Twinchok. “In this business, it’s about the collaboration of so many teams, so many countries and so many continents.

“They have to work hand in hand to make sure the goods get from A to B. And throughout that process, there are so many departments that have to coordinate. Without good collaboration, it is very difficult, with a risk of leakage at each stage of the chain.

Create networks of trust

RCL began operating its first feeder container ship in 1979, carrying cargo between Bangkok and Singapore. In 1988, it was listed on the Thai Stock Exchange and has gone from strength to strength ever since.

Today, the company owns and operates 49 container ships and ships between 69 destinations in Asia, India and the Middle East. With as many moving parts as there are, unsurprisingly, a vital facet of this chain is RCL’s partners, without whom the business could not function.

Twinchok says having a network of trusted vendors behind you also means knowing they’ll be there, even if things go completely wrong.

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We don’t believe in revolution. We believe in evolution.

“We’re also a supplier – we’re the call center for customers,” he explains. “They look at us like, ‘You’re carrying my stuff’. So that way we understand what it does. We understand their context, and then we try to be reasonable.

“It’s important because we know we can’t do everything ourselves, we always rely on them. And we know that everything has a cycle, up and down, sometimes we need them and sometimes they need us.

“So we look at things from a long-term perspective, to create a level of trust that can go a long way.”

Focused on evolution

When Twinchok was appointed Chairman in June this year, following in the footsteps of his father, RCL founder Sumate Tanthuwanit, it opened a new chapter for the company.

At the same time, Twinchok was conscious of continuing to build on his father’s legacy in a manner consistent with how this impressive organization had been run to date.

“We don’t believe in revolution,” says Twinchok. “We believe in evolution. I think in every business it is important to grow. Our scale is still small, but we envision organic growth. And every time we want to grow, we take care not to take too many risks, in order to have sustainable growth.

Because at the end of the day, says Twinchok, the essential foundations of the business, and how it will evolve from now on, come down to three essential factors: resilience, adaptability and communication.

Constructive direction

As a leader, Twinchok sees his role primarily as problem-solving, as well as steering all staff “in the right direction”. And to do that, he believes in cultivating a culture, where putting forward ideas is always encouraged.

“People need to be able to express themselves,” he enthuses. “Because if you’re just directive, you can never know everything. You need to have a constructive debate within the team. I don’t want to be like, ‘You have to follow me. This is not the way.

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It’s important that everyone knows what we’re trying to do and understands the goal.

Again, Twinchok goes back to the importance of employees, hiring the right ones, retaining those talents, and instilling a united corporate mindset with an emphasis, above all else, on teamwork.

“With employees who understand this, that’s how you can really improve your efficiency,” he says.

“It’s important that everyone knows what we’re trying to do and understands the goal. So I have to give people credit. Because overall, I think the key we want to achieve is to better understand our customers, so that we can continue to serve them better.

Proudly supported by:

PSA International

“RCL has been a valuable strategic partner for PSA. His commitment to quality customer service, sustainable trade and solving supply chain issues is the foundation of our long-standing win-win relationship. We look forward to working closely with RCL in the future! » – Eddy Ng, Head of Business Sustainability Solutions and Group Supply Chain, PSA International

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