14 October 2022
The Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) is strategically located within the global air connectivity network, making it the gateway of choice. Last year, KLIA recorded handling over 50% of air cargo logistics regionally, which is aligned to the increase in weekly air cargo frequency from 180 to 278 times.
KLIA Aeropolis is not just the brainchild of Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB), but it is the nation’s flagship airport city developed in alignment with the national blueprints and national investment aspirations. These focused on industrial and commercial developments while advocating sustainability and technology advancements.
A huge vote of confidence can be measured early on by the significant investments and strategic partnerships that have already transformed the landscape, both physically and within the industry.
The growth at Aeropolis aims to continue the addition of new routes, higher demand for an upskilled workforce, and more employment opportunities with better wages in the region.
With a goal of further disrupting the industry, global giants DHL and Cainiao have been fastidious in their decisions to place their stamps of approval on Aeropolis.
Julian Neo, managing director of DHL Express Malaysia & Brunei explained their decision to invest RM200 million in Aeropolis.
“This will be our first fully auto-sort gateway in Malaysia and will play a key role in supporting DHL Express’ continued focus to position Malaysia as a key logistics hub within the region and will further strengthen Malaysia’s link to the global logistics network.”
At 13,422 square metres, their new KLIA gateway is almost triple the size of its current facility in Subang and will increase shipment processing capacity by more than 400%.
It features a fully automated sort-system that can handle 10,000 packages per hour, 24 hours a day as compared to their current volume of 2,400 packages per hour.
Aside from these technological advancements, DHL’s facility is also carbon neutral, buying renewable energy from I-REC with rainwater harvesting, solar panels coupled with a building management system to optimise power usage.
Neo added: “MAHB has been a great partner, supporting our growth story and expansion journey in Malaysia and better positioning the country as a key logistics hub for the region.
“They have played an integral role in attracting increasing amounts of FDIs into Malaysia. As a well-positioned market leader in the express industry, we have a strong relationship with our global and multinational customers, and will work closely with MAHB to help position Malaysia as their choice of investment destination.”
Recognising the same potential for success, Alibaba’s Cainiao has also planted its roots with the Aeropolis eWTP hub, occupying 24.28 hectares with 0.1 million square metres of warehouse space.
Their first-of-its-kind innovative digital customs clearance system is capable of reducing clearance time from 24-48 hours to just 15 minutes for e-commerce shipments.
The hub is also the first to have an on-site internal customs inspection point where the Royal Malaysian Customs Department (RMC) has an established satellite operations and administrative office.
Encouraging other operators like Kargo Express, GTR, and Pos Aviation to operate directly from their hub has culminated in the launch of more international and domestic routes.
This in turn has enhanced air connectivity and air freight stability to support growing demand for air cargo transportation and improve cargo handling efficiency for both shippers and consignees.
Catering to the entire KLIA FCZ community including visitors, Plaza Premium Group (PPG), a premier airport business lounge and travel services provider, has teamed up with Cainiao to establish a full-fledged cafeteria within the eHub.
Kenneth Chan, director of operations for Malaysia at Cainiao’s eWTP hub said: “The eHub has attracted several top brands to locate their regional distribution operations in Malaysia including Ericsson who have chosen the eHub to serve as its regional 5G distribution channel.
“We see Malaysia as being more competitive in the region, largely due to the eHub’s capabilities. Cainiao and the Alibaba Group have been working tirelessly to establish KLIA as a premier regional air cargo hub, and to drive exports for Malaysian manufacturers, especially the SMEs, and believe that with the support of industry stakeholders as well as Malaysia’s federal government, we will be able drive the growth of the air cargo industry starting from the eHub.”
With the goal to elevate KLIA’s air cargo network status as one of the leading distribution gateways within the Asean region, the eHub aims to pivot Malaysia as the Asia Pacific hub for the Regional Distribution Centre (RDC), facilitating growth in KLIA’s cargo volume by an additional 600,000 metric tonnes annually in the next 10 years, and doubling its present cargo volume to 1.3 million metric tonnes a year.
Cainiao expects to facilitate 24-hour delivery within Malaysia for e-commerce operators, with the ultimate goal of delivering globally within 72 hours.
Cainiao’s eHub in Aeropolis has also been recognised globally, winning the prestigious Luban award for construction and engineering excellence, the Prestigious Quality Assessment in Construction (QLASSIC) Award 2021 for high construction standards awarded by Malaysia’s Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB), and the Best Logistics Services 2022 awarded by Malaysia Digital Chamber of Commerce (MDCC).
Chan added: “The partnership with MAHB has been a key success factor in the conceptualisation, development and successful completion of the Cainiao Aeropolis eWTP Hub despite the pandemic.
“In addition to infrastructure support, MAHB has been an exemplary business partner in managing regulatory matters. We depended on their expertise during the planning and implementation stages to ensure that we were always compliant with Malaysian regulatory authorities’ requirements.”
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