Aerospace and e-commerce development to shape M'sia's air freight growth

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KUALA LUMPUR: The growth of aerospace engineering, e-commerce and high-tech electronics will shape the growth and role of air freight in Malaysia, which plays a critical role for global trade, said FedEx Express Malaysia and Brunei.

"Malaysia is exporting more and more high-value added services, including in the engineering, automotive and aerospace sectors. The country has big ambitions in areas like biotechnology and healthcare. 

"These sectors and industries are intrinsically tied to air freight. Transporting high-value products that are smaller in weight and time-sensitive, is what really distinguishes air freight as part of the logistics landscape," said the logistics company's managing director Ramesh Kumar Singam in a statement today.

Complex supply chains contribute to Malaysia’s increasing reliance on air freight, he added, citing that people tend to think products are 'made in China' but that they are really the result of complex supply chains that span multiple countries.

"If we look at industries that the Malaysian government is “betting on” right now, aerospace and biotech included, we see a similar story - the supply chains underpinning these industries are diverse, complex and multi-country in nature," he said.

Aerospace in Malaysia grew around 9.4% in 2012 to RM30.3 billion, and generated more than RM32 billion, in revenue for 2013, he said. 

Malaysia is looking to capture around 5% of the global market for MRO - maintenance, repair and overhaul - by 2015 - and wants to become an aerospace hub for Asia, in line with the country’s aggressive Economic Transformation Program (ETP), he noted. 

Meanwhile, Malaysia's e-commerce market, one of the biggest drivers for the economy and airfreight, is expected to reach RM1.69 billion by 2017.

"Based on current e-commerce trends, the implication for airfreight is that door-to-door shipments of smaller packages and light freight shipments will continue to grow," he added.