On the Road - Asian Trucker Magazine

A Lastest News about Road Transport in Hong Kong SAR

Posted on: 29 Jan 2012

In 2009, Stefan Pertz, founder of business consultancy Launchpad, was faced with a dilemma posed by a client. "A lubricant manufacturer came to us and said, 'I want to give my sales for heavy-truck lubricants a boost. How do I do that?'
"The obvious answer was, you put an ad in a truck magazine," he said. "So our client said, 'Okay, find me a trucking magazine where I can advertise.'"
But a search for such a publication in Asia came up empty-handed. "It's a huge industry. But we were amazed to find that, apart from Thailand, there was no trucking magazine in Southeast Asia," said the German entrepreneur.
Six months later, Asian Trucker was launched in Malaysia, a trucking hub in Southeast Asia. Covering the latest in fleet management and operations, the quarterly includes articles on the latest truck models, focusing on technical and engineering features. The publication counts driver and fleet owners and operators, as well as container port operators, as part of its readership.
Last October, Asian Trucker launched a Chinese edition in Hong Kong, where drivers of a thriving trucking industry regularly ply cross-boundary routes to the Chinese mainland. "What's unique to the Hong Kong market is that, unlike places such as Malaysia, many of the drivers are also the owners of the trucks," said Mr Pertz. "That's key because they're also the decision-makers in their business."
Trucking Forum
The publication serves as an industry forum, airing views on issues that concern them, according to Mr Pertz, who is also targeting governments to make use of the magazine. "If you're changing legislation, say for emission laws, it has implications for the entire industry. And if you have no way to express changes clearly to the people concerned, then it may be difficult for government to implement new regulations," he said.
The publication also delves into such universal issues as driver fatigue and drink driving, while featuring articles specific to the market, including pieces on Euro V engines, for the Hong Kong publication, and Euro II engines for Malaysian readers.
The industry response has been "amazing," according to Mr Pertz. "Many have been saying, 'This is exactly what we need.' Some of the major transport and logistics players, including Volvo, Scania, Mercedes Benz and DHL, are regularly profiled and advertise in Asian Trucker.
The second issue of the Chinese edition, which came out this month, has seen circulation double, to 3,000, in Hong Kong. The English edition, which has grown from 48 to 76 pages, has a print run of 6,500 in Malaysia. A Singapore edition will be launched next month. An online version is also available in English, and will eventually be offered in other languages, including Chinese, Indian, Thai and Vietnamese.
Natural Choice
Of the Chinese-speaking cities in Asia, Mr Pertz decided that Hong Kong was the natural choice to manage the publication's Chinese edition. "The ease of doing business here is a major factor. It takes you one week to get a publishing license here, for instance. Printers here produce fantastic quality; people speak English. Multinational truck companies have some of their global functions located in Hong Kong," he added.
As the gateway to the mainland, where trucking is big business, Hong Kong offers a substantial readership. Mr Pertz said the company ultimately wants to publish for the mainland market, and Hong Kong is an important step towards that goal. "The China market, with its sheer market size, we can't even begin to handle that at the moment. We want to first build our brand in Hong Kong."
As publisher, Mr Pertz also writes articles and serves as co-editor of the magazine. His editorial partner is a 30-year veteran of the publishing industry.

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Posted: 29 January 2012