Casino logistics provider TKHS sees strong growth in Asia
boom in the number of casinos being opened around Asia in recent years
is pushing up demand for specialised logistics services, says Samuel
Wilson, executive director of Turn Key Hospitality Services Group Ltd,
known as TKHS.
The gaming sector “is certainly a very unique industry” when it comes to logistics needs, Mr Wilson told GGRAsia.
of the main differences [compared to other industries] is the speed and
pace that everything needs to happen at. Basically, time is money for
the casino,” he added.
Logistical challenges also include liaison
with different regulatory bodies for the shipping and transportation of
“For example, in the Philippines, where we are
very active, the rules and regulations that control the import and
exports of any gaming items are very tight,” Mr Wilson said.
large scale and unique designs of many new casino resorts in Asia also
pose unique logistical problems. These projects often involve the import
of oversized equipment and fixtures that require special measures for
“For one of our clients, we had to ship in about
250 tonnes of oversized cargo [to the Philippines]… within four to five
weeks, and those items where coming from Europe, from the U.S., from all
over the place. We even had to charter an entire aircraft to bring that
cargo in,” Mr Wilson explained.
He established TKHS in 2013. The
firm is a logistics service provider for the gaming and hospitality
industry in Asia. It provides logistics management for both pre- and
post-opening phases of casino properties. The latter includes
refurbishment and remodelling of venues. The firm’s work includes
cross-border trucking and international freight services, customs
clearance, domestic trucking and onsite installation services.
logistics “is certainly a niche industry,” but a fast growing one, Mr
Wilson said. TKHS has a team of about 140 people, working in Macau and
He added: “This year, we are expecting to ship
about 5,000 containers of gaming- or hospitality-related freight and
about 300 to 400 tonnes of air freight as well. [These are] quite high
volumes. It is 20 percent to 30 percent more than what we did last year.
I am very optimistic about this year and 2017.”
establishing TKHS, Mr Wilson worked for Las Vegas Sands Corp’s
operations in Asia. He was involved in logistics management for Venetian
Macao on Cotai and for Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.
said demand for specialised logistics services in Asia is growing not
only for the construction phase of new casino resorts. The same is
happening for the provision of ongoing logistics services for properties
already in operation, including for the import of additional gaming
equipment, spare parts and food and beverage supplies.
was the first market in which TKHS operated. “We are currently the
market leader in warehousing for the gaming industry in Macau,” said Mr
“We have 18,000 square metres [193,750 sq feet] of
warehouse space that is all located in Macau; this is one of our unique
selling points because there is very limited warehouse space available
in the market,” he added.
TKHS includes among its clients the
majority of the casino operators in Macau. The firm has been involved as
a logistics service supplier in several of the latest resort projects
being developed on Cotai, such as Studio City, Wynn Palace and MGM
TKHS began operations in the Philippines in 2013, providing
services to casino resorts that were at that time under development in
Entertainment City, located in the country’s capital Manila.
“We found a very strong demand for our services,” Mr Wilson said.
added: “The Philippines is weak in terms of infrastructure: there are
limitations… on the volumes of cargo that physically can come in and out
per day. That is one of the bottlenecks. The second issue is the
customs clearance process in the Philippines, which is quite a lengthy
and complex process.”
TKHS is the only logistics service provider
accredited by state-run operator-cum-regulator the Philippine Amusement
and Gaming Corp, Mr Wilson said. “Last year, we became ISO certified in
the Philippines,” he added.
TKHS is active in other parts of the
country beyond Manila. “We are doing work in some of the outlying
islands, such as Cebu and Davao. There, work is typically for smaller
hotels, often without a casino attached,” said Mr Wilson.
now exploring opportunities to expand into other Asian markets. South
Korea and Cambodia are being looked at, but the company has two other
“Australia is a key market that we want to be in
and certainly will be very active there going into next year,” said Mr
Wilson. TKHS already has a presence in the market, but mostly related to
the shipping of goods – such as gaming equipment, signage and casino
cage equipment – to Macau and the Philippines.
“What we want to do is to have operations for casino developments actually based in Australia,” said Mr Wilson.
Hong Kong is also a priority for TKHS but for different reasons.
Kong is the gateway for most of the cargo that comes in to either Macau
or the Philippines. So, it makes sense for us to invest in
infrastructure in Hong Kong, in particular warehousing and trucking,” Mr