Nationwide Express to cease operations after 37 years

Nationwide Express to cease operations after 37 years
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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 16): Nationwide Express Courier Services Bhd is set to become the latest last-mile delivery company to cease operations amid a challenging and competitive operating environment in Malaysia.

The company said in a statement that it is currently taking steps to gradually cease its business operations, after a winding-up petition was filed against it.

“The winding-up petition may eventually lead to cessation of business and operations, which ultimately will result in the closure of the entire company,” said the company's head of strategic sales and marketing Syahrindah Azman said in a statement.

Nationwide Express, founded by the late businessman Tan Sri Basir Ismail, was one of the country’s leading courier service providers. Its roots can be traced back to 1985.

In the statement, the company said it is ceasing its business operations effective Dec 15.

“Our last pickup will be on Dec 7. We wish to put on record that we have always valued the business relationship that has existed between us over the years, and once again thank you for your support,” Syahrindah said.

According to its website, Nationwide Express has 1,100 dedicated employees, a fleet of more than 300 vehicles, and 500 motorbike couriers. It has a network of 150 branches and agents in Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei, with the capacity to handle over 40,000 packages per day.

Nationwide Express' announcement came just months after KTM Distribution Sdn Bhd terminated its operations effective Nov 1, despite having a 38-year presence in the courier and logistics business.

KTM Distribution said that the cessation of its operations was in line with a restructuring exercise.

Another company that has exited the last-mile delivery industry is CJ Century Logistics Holdings Bhd, formerly known as Century Logistics, which sold its loss-making courier arm last year for about RM7.5 million.

Other players such as GDEX Bhd and Pos Malaysia Bhd have suffered consecutive quarters of losses, despite on-steroid growth in demand for courier or last-mile delivery services in the past three years — fuelled by the Covid-19 pandemic — with many e-commerce platforms outsourcing their services to delivery companies.

The last-mile delivery sector is facing an extremely competitive operating environment in Malaysia. The country, with a population of 33 million, has granted 122 courier licences. In comparison, Thailand, with a population of 70 million, has granted only half as many courier licences as Malaysia, while Indonesia has 42 for a nation of 273 million.

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S Kanagaraju