UPS set to expand retail presence in Malaysia amid e-commerce boom

KUALA LUMPUR: Global shipping and logistics company United Parcel Service (UPS) is set to expand its retail presence in Malaysia this year amid a boom in e-commerce by partnering with ParcelHub.

President for South Asia Matt Parkey said UPS has seen e-commerce, parcel delivery and logistics management booming in the last 12 months and the demand is at an all-time high, hence, the American firm is ready to capitalise on these trends and leverage ParcelHub’s 200 outlets.

At present, UPS has a partnership with retail courier Mail Boxes Etc, which has more than 90 outlets in Malaysia.

“Notwithstanding the near-term impact of the Covid-19 pandemic resurgence, Malaysia has strong long-term growth fundamentals and these fundamentals bode well for many small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that support industries along the value chain.

“UPS’s focus right now is on improving the resiliency of SMEs and their access to global markets. The pandemic has exposed vulnerabilities in supply chains and SMEs have been one of the worst-hit. Throughout the past year, we helped many traditional businesses pivot online to reach new audiences amid tightening domestic demand and physical store closures,” he told Bernama.

Parkey said SMEs make up 98.5 per cent of businesses in Malaysia and they are the cornerstone of the country’s economy and their prosperity is critical to a broader recovery.

Bank Negara Malaysia governor Datuk Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus revealed last month that the online retail sales index averaged at about 33 per cent between March and December last year, versus 22 per cent at the start of 2020.

Another survey on Covid-19 found that 57 per cent of Malaysians were shopping online more than they ever did pre-pandemic, leading to an unprecedented boom for online shopping in the country.

On the export sector, citing Oxford Economics’ forecast, Parkey said the sector would boost Asean-6 economies this year, with Malaysia’s economy bolstering its value-added manufacturing capabilities to take advantage of supply chain shifts.

Elaborating on Malaysia’s economic landscape, he said the country has made inroads in electrical and electronics products, which remained its top export earner in 2020.

“More than 50 semiconductor companies have investments in Malaysia, including the likes of Intel and AMD. Lam Research, a US company that designs and manufactures semiconductor processing equipment, recently added Penang to its list of global production locations, which include the US, South Korea and Austria.

“However, the next step now is to make sure that businesses are prepared to seize new opportunities in this changing landscape.

“On our part, we have implemented customised solutions for businesses of any size. For example, to boost Malaysia’s electronics manufacturing, we’ve developed capabilities to move expensive semiconductor shipments halfway around the world with almost zero sorting to move quickly and eliminate any damages,” he said.

Commenting on the rising needs of medical and vaccine deliveries worldwide, he said Penang has gained a reputation as a hub, churning out cardiovascular products and orthopaedic implants, reflecting the country’s standing as an important node for healthcare manufacturing.

At the same time, UPS has invested in a freezer farm in its Singapore distribution centre to ramp up its ultra-cold storage capacity in support of Singapore’s aspirations to be a Covid-19 vaccine distribution hub for Southeast Asia.

“Singapore is UPS’s regional hub in Asia Pacific and a key location in our smart global network. The country is also a healthcare distribution hub for global pharma players. Here, UPS supports vital med-tech and pharmaceutical manufacturing that are critical to the entire global supply chain.

“This extends beyond simply transportation to include the management of our customers’ regional distribution centres, support for the global supply chain of manufacturing healthcare products, intermediates and finished goods, as well as enabling our customers to innovate and optimise,” he said. – Bernama  

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