Kim Soon Lee was established in 1968 by Mr Lim Chai Kiui, who still oversees the running of the company as the Managing Director. It first started as a lorry transport company with a 1.5 ton truck transporting general food and industrial materials. As business picked up, the company gradually turned towards transporting chemical products, helped in large part by Mr Lim’s previously work experiences in a chemical production firm. By the mid 1970s, the company had expanded to possess 5 lorries and was among the top chemical transportation companies in Singapore.
The outbreak of the Oil crisis in the late 1970s, coupled with changes to the rulings of chemical transportation then dealt a heavy blow to Kim Soon Lee’s fortunes. Seeing a dramatic drop in the demand for its mainstay business, Mr Lim turned to try his luck in the heavy equipment transportation market, something he had never done before. With great determination to succeed and assisted by the boom in the construction market then, Mr Lim not only turned the tide against him but managed to build up a credible vehicular fleet. By the late 1980s, Kim Soon Lee had possessed a fleet of 12 prime movers, 25 trailers and 8 lorry cranes and became a respected name in Singapore’s transportation market, with a speciality in the transportation of bulky and out of gauge cargoes.
The 1990s witnessed early years of incredible economic growth and subsequent economic recession for Singapore. Starting from 1997, Singapore experienced years of economic stagnation. The heavy equipment transportation market was very badly hit and many transport companies went bust. Unwilling to be subjected to the same fate, Mr Lim went about re-strategizing the company’s direction. He observed that while the construction market, to which Kim Soon Lee’s business was so heavily reliant on, was down, there was an upsurge in demand for Sensitive equipment handling as well as One-Stop Logistics services. Thus from the late 1990s, Mr Lim went about building a Logistics wings for Kim Soon Lee. From a pure transport company, Kim Soon Lee diversified to providing machinery packing, crating, moving and warehousing services.
While the above diversification took place, efforts to expand its transportation wing did not halt. The years from 2001 till 2014 saw its vehicle fleet comprising prime movers. lorry cranes, lorries and trailers increase from about 90 to 400. Staff number also increased from about 40 to 280 during this period. To complement the surge in businesses, two additional yards; namely the 4 acre Bedok yard and 2 acre Toh Tuck yards were purchased in 2005 and 2009 respectively.
Currently, Kim Soon Lee is well entrenced in its position as a leading “ONE STOP Transportation & Moving Specialist” company in Singapore, providing a wide array of cargo handling and transportation services. From the construction to the oil and gas industry, from freight forwarding to house hold moving, Kim Soon Lee’s involvement in various sectors of the country’s economy is self-evident. With a young second generation management team strongly in place and with the company still growing, indeed, Kim Soon Lee is poised to achieve greater heights in the coming years.