KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian logistics industry is expected to grow 9.5% to RM139.74bil by value this year compared with RM127.66bil in 2012, due to strong sustainable economic growth in the country and strong intra-Asian trade, said business consulting firm Frost & Sullivan.

Global vice-president, transportation & logistics practice Gopal R said that external trade for Malaysia remained resilient and was expected to increase 6.5% to RM1.42 trillion this year as compared to RM1.34 trillion last year.

“Growth of the country’s external trade signifies the growth of the transportation and logistics industry especially for import and export forwarding, air freight and ocean freight-related businesses,” Gopal told reporters during a briefing on the industry’s outlook yesterday.

He added that the positive outlook on foreign direct investments (FDI) inflows were also expected to drive the transportation and logistics market .

Gopal said that Malaysia’s total exports for the 10 months of 2012 increased 1.1% while total imports grew 7.4% compared with 2011.

He said that trade with Asean countries account for 27.4% of Malaysia’s trade.

“Exports to Asean increased by 10.1% while imports grew by 7.5% despite the challenging global trading environment,” he said.

Gopal forecast Malaysia’s total cargo volume (air, rail and sea) to grow moderately at 5%, reaching 530.67 million tonnes in 2013 compared with 505.26 million tonnes in 2012.

He said that total cargo volume by sea was expected to grow 5% to 523.3 million tonnes in 2013.

“The total cargo throughput in 2012 stood at 498.2 million tonnes. Containerised cargo represents more than 70% of total cargo throughput by sea in the country; of which, about 47% is handled by Port Klang,” he said, adding that transhipment accounted for 22.5% of total sea cargo throughput last year.

Cargo volume by rail is expected to increase to 6.47 million tonnes in 2013 as compared to 6.16 million tonnes in 2012.

Gopal said the air freight market has been impacted by the global economic slowdown.

He estimated air cargo volume to increase marginally at 1.1% to 900,000 tonnes in 2013. He said that contract logistics was likely to generate substantial revenue stream for logistics companies.

He noted that many companies in Malaysia still manage their logistics needs internally, or engage logistics service providers for certain logistics tasks such as transportation, storage and import/export only when needed.

Gopal said with rising awareness of green issue globally, industry players would need to co-ordinate sustainable logistics practice in a way that meets customer requirements at minimum cost.

“Greening logistics operations include lower CO2 emission, more efficient use of fuel and also cutbacks in consumption of power, water, paper and other commodities,” he added

On a longer-term, Gopal said the Malaysian logistics industry was forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.2 per cent to reach RM207.4bil in 2017.

Source From: The Star Online

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