By The Star
Asia News Network
GD Express Carrier (GDex) is looking to expand into Indonesia and Thailand, as it seeks to strengthen its regional foothold.
The Malaysian company has been looking for local partners for potential tie-ups or to set up its own ground operations network in these countries.
GDex, which already has a regional office in Singapore, is ready to fund these expansion plans with its approved share placement that could potentially raise close to 200 million ringgit (Bt1.9 billion) or bank borrowings.
Group chief executive officer Teong Teck Lean said the company established a representative office in Jakarta two months ago.
“This is to handle our shipments to and from the country and also to study the market there before we decide to invest in a regional office and ground operations.
“Apart from Indonesia, we are also looking at other countries in the Asean region. Our next target is Thailand.
“Our plan is to expand into at least one more Asean country in the next two to three years.”
Teong added that the regional expansion plan had been in the pipeline for a few years, and it would be carried out more aggressively in view of the upcoming Asean Economic Community (AEC).
Expected to take shape by the end of next year, the AEC would help transform Asean into a single market and production base of 600 million people, with free flow of goods, services, investments and skilled labour.
With around 40,000 small and mid-sized businesses among its clients, GDex is 26 per cent owned by Singapore Post (SingPost), the national postal system of Singapore.
In late May, Alibaba Group Holding, China’s biggest e-commerce company, spent 312.5 million Singapore dollars (Bt7.8 billion) to acquire a 10-per-cent stake in SingPost to develop its logistics base in Southeast Asia.
Teong said GDex was looking to increase its fleet of trucks by 100 from the current 500 over the next 12 months.
“We are also looking at stepping up our hub capacity to handle 150,000 packages a day from the present 80,000 packages. This is underpinned by the strong demand of the e-commerce business,” he said.
GDex commands about 14-15 per cent of the Malaysian market.
Teong said that though the online business was still small in Malaysia, it was a segment that the company would want to further tap into due to its strong up-trend, as the country is moving towards achieving a developed-nation status.