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Whale logistics offshore journey – one team across two locations

Updated: May 10

When Whale logistics Australia was a startup, managing director and founder Ryan Cummings was left with a decision to make. Scale up purely in Australia or build a team extension model across Australia and the Philippines.

‘The answer was simple’ Cummings said ‘we started with 2 roles in Manila and haven’t looked back. The depth of talent in the Philippines market, the proximity to Australia, the language skills, it just ticked so many boxes’.

As Whale grew, so did the WHAM (Whale Manila) team with roles now spanning finance, procurement, pricing, operations and customs clearance. They now have a team of 20 in the Philippines working across all elements of the freight forwarding back office.

‘Offshoring brings so many benefits to a business but one that is huge for us is the infrastructure side. If we had that 20- person team in Sydney I would need twice the office space, PC’s and laptops, phones, twice the HR and payroll processing, the legal support. It just gives you such an operational advantage’ said Cummings.

‘What it also now means is that we have redefined the types of roles we do in different locations. In Australia for example it is more client and sales focused with of course our senior leadership layer whereas the WHAM team are our subject matter experts across process and control. It truly is one team across two locations, run the same we would between say, a Sydney and Melbourne office’.

While some offshore structures can be very hands off with a real on/offshore feel, Cummings is quick to point out that central to Whale’s model is the commitment on both sides to foster a team extension environment. ‘We put a lot of work into it. From the daily operational connect points through to jointly running things like steptember and other engagement initiatives across both sites. We bring 6 or 7 of the Manila team to Australia each year and our own staff are regularly in the Philippines, it’s the only way to do it.  There are no shortcuts to building trust and nurturing relationships and this is why the Whale and Cooee partnership has been such a success’.

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