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French 3PL Geodis has launched a time-definite trucking service in South-east Asia as the region’s road infrastructure continues to improve and trade agreements ease cross-border movements.
The company said it would particularly target shipments in the 300kg-1 tonne range and offer shippers “a simplified, door-to-door tariff structure”.
According to one report, burgeoning free trade agreements in the region and growth in e-commerce mean regional cross-border road transport revenues are forecast at around $4.1bn by 2023, representing an annual growth rate of over 15%.
Geodis ASEAN sub-regional managing director Rene Bach-Larsen said: “As the region’s road infrastructure continues to improve beyond the Singapore-KL-Bangkok spine, scheduled road transits will become an increasingly attractive option, being faster than sea and cheaper than air.”
The company said the Geodis road network (GRN) would offer scheduled departures for consignments along the Singapore-Kuala Lumpur-Bangkok axis, with multimodal gateway services beyond these hubs.
The scheduled service will hub at Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Bangkok.
An on-carriage service is then offered to all major cities in Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, with a plan to extend the ‘line-haul’ service to other hubs within those countries, as well as Laos and Myanmar later in the year.
Shippers would have “end-to-end control of consignments from first to last mile”, while the deployment of Geodis’s trucking assets would “minimise delays at border crossings, heightens security and gives assurance of reliable transit times”.
Alan Miu, regional director of customs brokerage of truck & rail, explained: “Our customs control tower solution gives peace of mind to our customers. A single Geodis point of contact advises each of our clients before and during transits on customs and other necessary documentation, assisting with electronic lodging of declarations in advance to avoid delays.
“This also makes customers completely aware of their shipment’s progress through GPS monitoring, contingency planning if necessary and final, ‘signed-for’ delivery.”
Geodis Asia Pacific chief executive Onno Boots, who in a previous role as Asia-Pacific managing director of TNT Express – prior to its acquisition by FedEx – was an early pioneer of road freight networks in South-east Asia, added: “We believe that our client-centric and employee-driven approach provides the foundations of a successful future for Geodis and our customers by adapting to the transformations in the logistics industry that we are seeing.
“Our investment in, and operation of GRN, are prime examples of this philosophy in action. Its development has been led by identifying a gap in the market, it is enabled by good data communication and implemented by our dedicated people,” he said.