Interview with Michaela Královičová, the CEO of INFINITY FORWARDING
|Michaela Královičová is the CEO of the shipping company Infinity Forwarding and the Asia-Europe import-export consultancy Infinity Standard. Both companies are headquartered in Bratislava and are expanding to other European countries. Michaela has studied in Slovakia as well as Asia and earned a doctorate in International Business Management. Since 2017, Michaela has been advising companies importing from and exporting to Asia.|
Kindly give us an overview about the shipping services that Infinity Forwarding is offering in Slovakia and Czech Republic?
Infinity Forwarding offers a wide range of shipping, customs, and consulting services. Our added value for clients is that we understand how foreign trade is done and thus can provide import and export consulting on top of just moving the cargo from A to B. Our main focus is multimodal transportation (e.g. sea-rail-truck and air-truck), but due to the high customer demand, this year we started providing road transportation services for bulk cargo in Europe.
Where do you see the biggest challenges in global supply chains for the year 2023?
The biggest challenges for 2023 will definitely be the increasing fuel/energy costs that are impacting demand for goods as well as the shortage of truck drivers in Europe. These factors are keeping the prices of shipping services in Europe high even despite of the price decrease of the ocean and rail freight.
At WOF Summit Vienna you will take part in the panel discussion about the future of the new silk road, can you give us an insight to the actual challenges by rail from China to Europe?
The Northern Corridor is currently stable and without serious delays. The main challenge for Europe is our overdependence on this corridor that goes through Russia and the lack of alternative route with comparable capacity to handle all cargo. Both the Southern and Middle Corridors do not have the sufficient capacity and infrastructure to become full substitutes in case the Northern Corridor would be hit by Western sanctions or if Russia decided to block the route. China plans to start building the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway this year, but it will take several years to finish the project, which means that we will only see results (in case the project will be finished successfully) in the long term.
How do you charge the importance of the WOF Events as platform for the supply chain industry in CEE overall?
The WOF Events are a great platform for logistic service providers to find new business partners and learn more about the trends in automation and technology related to our industry. I also like the networking possibilities and nice atmosphere on the events.
What recommendation do you want to give to your customers to prepare for smooth imports from Asia to the CEE region in 2023?
Since the beginning of the pandemics, I feel like there is little that is smooth about importing from Asia. What was a shock earlier is the new normal now. I believe the pandemics and subsequent logistic crisis that shown itself in the form of service disruptions, delays and increased costs, made the providers of logistic services more resilient and agile. In 2023, our customers can benefit from lower ocean and freight prices and shorter transit and overall delivery times. I would recommend the customers to plan their orders and shipments ahead of time, and in case of urgency, prioritize rail over air. I believe that 2023 will be a good year for importers who are prepared.