[:en]Soaring e-commerce boosts logistics sector[:zh]飞涨电子商务助力物流业

[:en]Asia Pacific’s logistics industry booming on the back of soaring e-commerce, reports CBRE.

Another key driver is the increasing expansion of organised retail and chain stores across the region. Private consumption is on the increase and there are growing middle-class populations in many countries in APAC. This is driving a continued trend for the development of well-organised shopping malls to support retailer expansion in APAC, including the build-out of store networks and the set-up of supply chains. This is especially true in under-represented developing markets such as China, India, and Southeast Asia, CBRE explains.

APAC will have an extra 307 million urban residents in 2020, which will have a significant impact. Looking forward, CBRE sees China as the key growth market in APAC, since it has the most compelling prospects for urbanised market growth over the next 10 years and strong potential for development in lower-tier cities. 

Other markets have significant potential. For example, organised retail accounts for two per cent and four per cent of total retail in India and Vietnam, respectively, compared with 84 per cent in the US, although government regulations could limit growth.

Another trend is growing online user bases and sales volumes of e-commerce across APAC. Online user bases are expected to increase drastically in the coming years, with an estimated 346 million extra online users in the APAC region by 2020. 

Between 2013 and 2020, the largest percentage increases in user bases are expected in India (59.4 per cent or 101 million new users) and Indonesia (56.3 per cent or 22.3 million), while China is expected to add 156 million new users in the same time period. 

China and Japan, the largest markets by sales turnover, have seen a marked increase in modern logistics facilities, while potentially high-growth emerging markets such as India and Southeast Asia remain undersupplied.

More dependency on third-party logistics (3PL) will also boost logistics companies, CBRE says. With rising demand for organised retail and growth of e-commerce, demand from 3PL providers will also rise. The need for delivery efficiency, inventory management, and freight-forwarding is driving the need for experienced logistics operators in the region, leading to greater outsourcing to logistics service providers.

Traditionally in APAC, companies across a wide variety of sectors handled their product logistics in-house, preferring to own their own warehouses and keep control of their delivery and coordination functions. 

But as business process outsourcing has taken hold in recent years, companies have looked to 3PLs to provide logistics and delivery services, thus allowing them to concentrate on their core business functions and free up capital by divesting their warehouse investments.