Paragon, the UK’s leading provider of routing and scheduling software solutions, has set up a wholly owned subsidiary in Shanghai as part of its continued commitment to the Chinese market. This latest development will enable Paragon to contract directly with local businesses or international organisations operating within the country, supporting its global growth strategy.

After initially operating via the China-Britain Business Council’s launchpad scheme, Paragon has completed the formal processes that are required to operate in China as a Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise (WFOE). This status enables companies to operate as a full legal entity in China allowing them to employ their own staff and enter into contracts directly instead of via an overseas-based parent company.

“We have an expanding presence in Asia, but our projects in China to date have all been contracted through the UK business,” explained William Salter, Managing Director of Paragon Software Systems. “We wanted to be in a better position to serve our customers on the ground by delivering a direct service and local support. Shanghai was selected as the location of the office based on the number of international companies launching their Chinese operations there.”

The logistics industry in China is facing some significant challenges. With tighter emission controls in many cities, there is now a serious shortage of compliant commercial vehicles, while restrictions on deliveries during normal business hours has created planning difficulties when operating in densely-populated urban areas. When combined with increasing wages in the sector this is driving the need for greater levels of transport optimisation. Furthermore, an expanding middle class has led to growing domestic spending power, added consumer expectations and changing buying habits, which has placed added pressure on the supply chain.

“With the growing need for local transport operators to be more efficient, it is an ideal time for us to open our China operation. We are now well-placed to help these organisations make best possible use of their drivers and vehicles, delivering benefits including improved service levels and reduced costs,” commented Salter.

Paragon introduced a Chinese language version of its software in 2012, and now has a number of customers in China using its routing and scheduling solutions. These clients can take advantage of the same products and services as those in the rest of the world, providing transport planners with the ability to create more accurate transport plans, reduce costs and improve arrival time accuracy. The company has been gradually expanding its footprint in the Far East, with Paragon systems now live across the region.