May the hibiscus flower
The Malaysian logistics industry is very dynamic these days. There is a lot of building work going on, amongst other things, as there is a great need to catch up in the field of warehousing. The port of Johor is entering into a collaboration deal with an Indonesian partner.
The red hibiscus is Malaysia’s national flower. The country is determined to make a greater mark on the world logistics map and hopes that with China’s support its logistics ambitions will flourish accordingly. Malaysia’s transport minister Dato’ Sri Liow Tiong Lai is the main driving force behind Malaysia’s logistics push (see also page 28–29 of ITJ 49-52 / 2017). Of course it is not only down to the state – plenty of domestic and foreign private initiatives are also on the scene.
Real estate developers eye potential
Logistics centres and warehouses are in particularly high demand, as the country’s corresponding existing infrastructure is inadequate to meet the growing requirements in the segment. The Axis Real Estate Investment Trust (Axis Reit), which is based in the city of Petaling Jaya (just outside Kuala Lumpur’s city limits), is one of the most active enterprises in the field of logistics real estate. 40% of Axis Reit’s portfolio is made up of logistics properties. Now this figure is set to grow further.
Axis Reit is managing a major project for the food multinational Nestlé, namely a 48,000 sqm distribution centre set to open in Telok Panglima Garang, around 50 km west of Kuala Lumpur, in June. The corporation has selected Malaysia as one of its most important regional distribution hubs; it is planning to open further facilities there in the short term.
Ceva banking on Penang
The Dutch logistician Ceva is also investing in the Southeast Asian country. At the beginning of March it inaugurated a new multi-user centre in Bayan Lepas, on Penang island in the eponymous northwestern state. The 6,500 sqm logistics centre includes temperature-controlled and ambient storage spaces as well as offices for in-plant customers. Its proximity to Penang airport will allow Ceva to offer contract logistics, freight management and customs clearance solutions. The state of Penang has become home to many a new free-trade zone over the last few years.
Developing the maritime nation’s ports also represents an important aspect of improving the logistics infrastructure. Thus the port of Johor, on the Singaporean border, has signed an mou with the Indonesian port operator Pelindo I, to improve connectivity between Sumatra (Indonesia) and ports in Peninsular Malaysia and their infrastructure, as well as to establish training programmes and ro-ro links between the two.