Skyfer Logistics - Transport & Logistics
Sherman Fernando is Group President and CEO of Skyfer Logistic Inc, an international freight forwarder headquartered in Toronto, Canada. With over 28 years of logistic and supply chain management experience, he steers the company to success.
Skyfer Logistic Inc was launched in December 2012. In the span of a decade the firm launched its own offices in the USA, Sri Lanka and India, with further expansion on the horizon to meet demand from its growing customer base.
How has your previous experience in
logistics and supply chain management served you in your current role as President of Skyfer
My experience dates back three decades to where I first held leadership roles .In my last assignment before immigrating to Canada in 2004, I was the Managing Director of U Freight Sri Lanka.
Having a wealth of knowledge gained over the years and a passion to succeed was the key driving factor which was instrumental in my co-founding Ex Freight in 2006. Not satisfied with my accomplishments, and a burning desire to build my own brand, led me to launching Skyfer Logistic Inc in 2012.
Leveraging the knowledge and the tireless hours put into the job in various capacities gave me the acumen to be a successful entrepreneur today. Traveling the globe and meeting amazing people from our industry helped me to broaden my vision and focus on achieving set objectives. Being a people’s person also was a plus as my colleagues looked up to me as a mentor along the way.
What impact has the opening of Skyfer Logistic India had on Skyfer’s presence in India and the greater region?
It was a strategic decision to launch our brand in India. With that said, we also started operations in Chennai in 2020 and subsequently opened a branch office in New Delhi in 2022.
Our brand image took root in India and like quicksilver we were spiraling to new heights. Having a highly motivated team on board with a ‘sky is the limit’ attitude led to our exponential growth. We are now one of the leading international freight forwarders and, most importantly, a trusted brand – Ocean being our key product offering to our customers on the ISC (Indian subcontinent) USA/Canada-ISC trade lane.
Can we expect to see further international expansion from Skyfer in the coming months?
Bangladesh is on the cards. We are also looking at expanding our footprint in USA
in 2023. This expansion is inevitable and will give us a strategic advantage on our air freight offering to our global partners.
Speaking broadly, what are the most common obstacles your multinational clients face when it comes to matters of shipping and freight?
Our customers are faced with an unpredictable marketplace. The logistic challenges and skyrocketing pricing that we saw during the pandemic was a nightmare for many of our customers. Managing the high cost of freight and meeting deadlines was a task to reckon with, but all of that is now behind us and all of us have had our fair takeaway.
Competition is fierce and being innovative is the key to survival.
How do you and your team provide solutions to these issues?
Skyfer is a solution provider. Sitting across the table with our customers helps us to understand the challenges that they are facing. We then customise solutions to fix the issue at hand, thus becoming an integral part of their business.
Why are tailored solutions vital to ensuring client satisfaction?
Our customers range over different product verticals, and thus fine-tuning a process could save millions of dollars. We have loyal customers who know well that the services offered by Skyfer, are par excellence.
Is there a particular creed or philosophy that motivates you to go above and beyond in your work?
I came from humble beginnings, but staying the course through sheer dint of hard work has led me to where I am today. I have been blessed with a very supportive family by my side; especially my brilliant wife Ash Fernando, and also my extended family – our Skyfer family. We are growing rapidly but staying laser-focused and working to achieve the end goal just keeps the adrenaline pumping.
What keeps me ticking is having had a vision 30+ years ago and now having a sense of responsibility to give back to society.
What does this award mean to you?
I am humbled to be the recipient of this award and would reiterate to all the youngsters out there in this highly competitive age that we are in to stay focused. When the going gets tough, the tough get going – and no amount of obstacles that you come by will retard your growth.
What new trends and developments do you expect to see in the shipping and freight sector in the near future?
Technology is going to be the key driver. Skyfer continues to invest in software platforms to keep pace with the market, always offering more value to our customers.
Is there anything that you can share about Skyfer and your own career development plans for the rest of 2023?
As Skyfer Logistic continues to scale new heights (and we are still expanding our presence in the markets that we have seen success), one will have to stay tuned to see our next bold steps. We are always looking to capitalise on any opportunity of growth coming our way.