Logistics executives expect intra-Asia trucking volumes to show the same strong growth as ocean and air lanes in the years ahead as regional trade continues to expand.
“It’s a fairly young option in Asia but it’s growing,” said Essa Al-Saleh, president and CEO of Agility’s Global Integrated Logistics business group.
Australia’s Toll Group is looking to extend its existing cross-border trucking services beyond South East Asia into China as demand increases.
“We see intra-Asia road freight as a key component of our forwarding and logistics mix moving forward in Asia,” added Paul Coutts, Group Products, Marketing and Sales Director.
UPS also expects further growth from its Asian trucking service portfolio which Brendan Canavan, the recently appointed Asia Pacific president, said offered customers more flexibility and was especially useful for hi-tech and temperature sensitive cargoes.
“We can truck from Singapore all the way through to China,” he said. “Recently, we handled a healthcare shipment that carried flu vaccines in our PharmaPort 360 container from the U.S. to Laos, for humanitarian purposes.
“On the last leg of the journey we trucked the container between Bangkok and Vientiane. The product safely arrived at the final destination without any spoilage to the recipient, the Ministry of Health of Laos.”
Agility started providing cross-border trucking services with maximum payload of 20 tons per truck between South East Asia and China in 2010. Al-Saleh said customers view cross-border trucking as an alternative to air freight, with savings of 20 to 40 percent possible door-to-door.
“At times of peak season cross-border trucking also offers an alternative solution and we have seen this used for customers and have provided road/ocean or road/air solutions out of countries that have capacity constraints,” he added.
The removal of barriers to trade at Asian borders is also driving road volume growth. “Customs procedures have been getting better and thus less time is spent on border crossings now speeding up total transit times,” said Al-Saleh.
“Time-wise we find that cross-border trucking is quicker than ocean freight, and door-to-door this provides an advantage despite the higher cost.”
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