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Investment pours into freight despite shipping slump

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Global trade and shipping figures continue to be disappointing, but investment into the freight sector continues, with logistics providers hoping that better routes to market will help buck the trend.

In Asia, a major parcels company has initiated an extension of its road freight service, linking the previous network of Singapore-Malaysia and Thailand up with Vietnam and China. The company will now provide its less-than-truckload service across all five nations, which it says greatly reduces the time it takes for goods to reach market.

Much has been made of the transport infrastructure gap in Asia, and the multi-billion dollar net drag it has on regional trade. Under-investment, bureaucracy, security issues and terrorism all combine to mean that shipping transport can be expensive and time-consuming.

By ocean freight, it typically takes cargo 13 days to travel from Shenzhen in South China to Bangkok. The new service will do the same distance in just five. While air freight transit is quicker – four days on average – it costs significantly more.