KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 25 (Bernama) – Malaysia needs to improve coordination in the logistics sector to enhance competitiveness, said former Director General of Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), Tan Sri Abdul Rahman Mamat.

He said the logistics sector is the weakest among the four pillars of Malaysia’s international trade — finance, commerce, insurance and logistics.

Abdul Rahman is now Chairman of Asia Logistics Council, which is a member of Global Coalition for Efficient Logistics (GCEL), a Swiss-based non-profit public/private partnership.

“The logistics sector is the weakest, most inefficient and most fragmented. According to a GCEL study there were 19 to 20 clusters in the entire value chain of logistics in Malaysia.

“From the government bodies responsible for licensing like MITI and the Ministry of Transport to port authorities, freight forwarders, trucking system, incoming port system — we are so fragmented,” he told Bernama on the sidelines of the Asean Logistics and Transport Show 2013 today.

Abdul Rahman said coordination is the key word to effectiveness, and the government should take charge and play its role, as coordinating with the authorities is a major challenge for the industry.

“In other countries, logistics is the main issue that they address. It is the common denominator that connects all nations and makes trade possible. It is essential to strengthen logistics through a solid platform to empower the other three industries,” he added.

Echoing his views, Alvin S.W Chua, President of the Malaysian Freight Forwarders Association, said, “We may have strength and capabilities in handling big shipments, we also have a super infrastructure, however the problem at the last mile may affect the whole efficiency.

“What’s the point of having everything else if congestion at the port is not addressed, it is still going to bring us down.”

He cited the closure of the road link between Northport and Westport for one year starting October this year, to facilitate the construction of a link over the railway track, as an example of lack of coordination by the authorities.

“The closure will affect 66,000 vehicles using the road of which 25 per cent are commercial vehicles.

“It will result in delays in transportation of at least three hours and may force vehicles to take longer routes, which means an increase in costs to importers and exporters as well ,” he added.

He said with a holistic approach, the authorities should have been able to foresee the problems and come up with contingency plans.

It is also about time the government exercised some jurisdiction over shipping charges which keep increasing sometimes without justification, he said, adding that Malaysia is losing ground against neighbouring countries like Thailand and Vietnam.

Source From: MySinchew.com

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