Volvo Buses


JK59 Transport Navigating Challenging Times

JK59 Transport’s Director, Victor Jiang, shares insights delving into the business’s rich history and addressing current issues.
Transport Navigating Challenging Times

With over 40 years of experience in the trade, Mr Victor Jiang, JK59 Transport’s Director, brings seasoned expertise to the complexities of the industry. In 2007, he assumed official leadership when his elder brother, Sherwin, chose to step back from day-to-day operations. Sherwin’s modest start with a single midsize bus has burgeoned into a fleet of 60, supported by an 80-strong workforce. The team comprises 50 drivers, 20 bus attendants, and 10 office staff at their headquarters in Lorong Kilat, Singapore.

A glance at the country map reveals Victor’s strategic emphasis on Jurong Island, showcasing unique business strategies that maximise bus utilization while minimising travel distances. JK59 Transport extends its services beyond corporate clientele to schools and offers ad hoc rentals with drivers included, showcasing flexibility in meeting diverse transportation needs.

Reflecting on the company’s growth, Victor emphasizes the meticulous approach to optimization, focusing on the western region of Singapore and Jurong Island. “Fuel was my largest operational cost, and creating efficient travel routes was my top priority,” Jiang explains. This, he adds, could only be achieved with the help of strong partners supportive of his approach. One such partner is Volvo Buses. “When you purchase a bus, it is not just a chassis, there is a lot more that comes with it and we have been depending on the insights from Volvo to assist us in making the right choices.”

Jiang’s bus fleet selection process involves critical considerations, including passenger comfort, fuel economy, and after-sales service. Volvo stands out as one of the top brands, as their 8-liter engine enhances fuel efficiency. Recently Victor has been buying Volvo – all Euro VI because they are very fuel efficient, and their resale value is very good. The missions handled by JK59 Transport typically involve inner city, short distances where operating vehicles in the most efficient rev range is challenging; therefore, engine management plays a significant role in how Jiang utilises the Volvo buses.

Jiang expressed that he is feeling uncertain about the number of new busses he will acquire next year, attributing it to the declining trend in transportation needs that he is witnessing. The company is presently prioritising the resumption of services for projects paused during the pandemic.

With the Volvo buses, Jiang also has peace of mind when it comes to safety. “Safety has been a big concern for many years and now we are about as far as we can go. I am sure there will be more developments, but they will be incremental.” As Volvo’s chassis are equipped with the latest safety technology, Jiang is sure to have the best possible package to address the needs of moving people safely.

And now we get back to the present. “Fifteen years ago,” he says, “the once strong ability to foresee the future has diminished. Currently, navigating the future is challenging due to numerous uncertainties and unanswered questions.” Jiang has realised that strategic planning has been hampered somewhat as the implications of global disruptions are more severe on a local level. In order to minimise uncertainty, he again turns to Volvo buses. “The brand has been here for a long time, which means that they are not going to abandon clients here if things get a bit rough.” He added that there are a number of new entrants to the market, however, he believes that the Swedish marque has in place the systems and operation to support Singaporean clients through thick and thin. The trust in the brand is reflected in the re-sale value, as Jiang pointed out.

Just before the year comes to an end, JK59 Transport received another Volvo B8R coach to be added to their impressive fleet. “We’re truly honoured to be the continuous preferred choice of JK59. A returning customer is the best affirmation that you’re on the right track. We appreciate the trust JK59 places in us, and we’re committed to delivering excellence every step of the way,” said Mr Achuth Das, Country Manager, Volvo Group Singapore Pte Ltd. He told Asian Trucker that his team is excited about the continued journey of success and reliability with JK59 Transport.

Navigating through industry upheavals over the years, Victor acknowledges the present uncertainty, contrasting it with earlier periods of more predictable business prospects. However, he remains unfazed, quoting from Kung Fu Panda: “Your mind is like water. When agitated, it becomes difficult to see. But if you allow it to settle, the answer becomes clear.” Victor patiently awaits the settling of the situation, prepared for any eventualities that may arise.

Thanks to Asian Buses for the collaboration in developing this article