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The Malaysia freight and logistics market is expected to witness a CAGR of 11% during the forecasted period.

The logistics industry in Malaysia has evolved in recent years. With the rise of e-commerce in the country, companies are capitalizing on this emerging trend. The interest of the companies in emerging areas, such as cold chain logistics, last-mile delivery services, etc. is growing, due to the high margins and rising demand. The economy of the country is expected to grow between 5% and 6%, driving the growth of the logistics industry further. As the growth of the logistics sector is expected to be positive in the future, there is much scope for improvement. To enable the logistics sector to handle greater volumes of freight, to speed up the time taken to deliver goods across the supply chains, and to lower the cost of this delivery, several improvements need to be made. While the logistics infrastructure of the country is improving, there is a need for continuous investment into infrastructures, such as port upgrades and expansion, road networks, and advanced information technology (IT) system.

Majority of the population of the country is concentrated along the coastline of the country, which makes the logistics cost low. However, efficient transport links are needed, connecting the seaports and the cities through road and rail. According to the World Bank Logistics Performance Index (LPI), in 2016, Malaysia had the highest LPI score after Singapore in the Southeast Asian region. However, Thailand and Vietnam have overtaken Malaysia according to the LPI scores of 2018. The LPI rank of Malaysia among the 160 countries in the world declined to the 41st position in 2018 from 32nd position in 2016.

Key Market Trends

Growing infrastructure sector:

The Malaysian government has made considerable progress to expand and modernized its infrastructures throughout the country. This effort is evident by the five-year centralized economic development plan known as the Malaysia Plan, whereby public sector infrastructure development consistently holds the largest funding portion. Under the Eleventh Malaysia Plan for 2016-2020, sizeable investment on infrastructure in Malaysia is allocated for the transport and logistics sector to boost regional development.

China and Malaysia resumed construction on a massive “Belt and Road” train project in northern Malaysia in 2019 July, after a year-long suspension and following a rare agreement to cut its cost by nearly a third to about USD 11 billion.

Malaysia is already identifying new joint investment opportunities with China along the ECRL (The East Coast Rail Link) corridor.

E-commerce driving the logistics Industry:

In 2019, Malaysia’s e-commerce market is expected to amount to USD 3.7 Billion, and in 2023, it is projected to hit USD 5.7 billion. This country’s e-commerce growth is growing exponentially, and with it being a recent wave with an expected compounded annual growth rate of 11.4%.

Malaysia is an attractive market for eCommerce in Southeast Asia due to its dynamic economy and developed infrastructure for digital technologies. Malaysia has ~ 25.84 million active internet users (80 percent of the population) and the population has extremely high rates of mobile phone penetration. Out of the 32.25 million Malaysians in 2019, 25 million are social media users, 40.24 million mobile subscriptions, and 24 million use social media on their mobile devices.

Malaysia’s eCommerce sector is on a growth trajectory and is already benefiting from the implementation of programs under the National eCommerce Strategic Roadmap’s (NeSR) six thrust areas. The National eCommerce Council (NeCC), comprised of various ministries and agencies was established to drive the implementation of the roadmap towards doubling Malaysia’s eCommerce growth rate to reach a GDP contribution of USD 53 billion by 2020.

Competitive Landscape

Currently, the Malaysian freight and logistics market landscape is fragmented with a large number of players. For instance, the trucking industry of the country is made of independent truckers and SMEs, who account for more than 70% of the market. However, the industry is expected to transform into a consolidated state in the future. In order to gain significant market share and serve the rising demand, the companies are adopting the merger and acquisition trend. Especially, the rise in e-commerce is resulting in vertical and horizontal consolidation among the logistics and e-commerce players, to gain scale and network.

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