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Game-changing logistics hub at KLIA will boost economy

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s main airport operator is in the final stages of preparations to fully open its game-changing logistics hub, the KLIA Aeropolis Digital Free Trade Zone Park.

Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad general manager of KLIA Aeropolis, Randhill Singh said the company is geared up for the full opening of the state-of-the-art hub, jointly developed with Alibaba Group, the world’s largest e-commerce company.

“We’re just months away, it is going to be a boost not just for the economy and the country but also the region,” he told FMT. The hub is Alibaba’s first overseas electronic world trade platform (eWTP) project, serving Southeast Asia, Oceania and beyond.

The Southeast Asia e-commerce logistics hub is an integrated facility comprising cargo terminal, warehouse and sorting centre among others, which allows for more logistics and value-added activities to be carried out seamlessly.

“Normally, in a cargo terminal, the goods are not sorted, but with the sorting centre, value-added activities can be done on-site.

“You can undertake break-bulk, re-packaging and even light assembly activities. This is what you will typically find in a free commercial zone.”

Randhill said the aim of the hub is to facilitate the delivery of goods across the globe within 72 hours, and this will effectively position KLIA as the preferred hub in the region for global brands and e-commerce players.

“We know that e-commerce will be the main driver for the air cargo business, and we will be leveraging on this through the KLIA Aeropolis DFTZ Park.”

The hub occupies 1.1 million square feet of space, allowing Malaysia Airports to double its air cargo volume in KLIA to 1.4 million tonnes a year within 10 years. Alibaba alone is taking up 30% of space in the hub.

He added the hub will make doing business much easier for logistics companies, global brands and help small and medium-sized enterprises gain access to the region more easily.

On top of this, KLIA’s close proximity to Port Klang will help amplify opportunities for sea-to-air cargo transfers, once procedures and policies tailor-made for this purpose are put in place.

Randhill also said as the hub grows, MAHB believes that more air cargo traffic will come this way, benefiting both air freight airlines, as well as commercial airlines which will now have more cargo to carry.

“This is why we believe the KLIA Aeropolis DFTZ Park is going to be a catalyst for greater things, it’s going to be very attractive for e-commerce players to make Malaysia their hub, and this can only be good for businesses and the economy.”