THE Association of Malaysian Express Carriers (Amec) aims to improve the service level of the local express delivery industry that is fast becoming an important contributor to the national infrastructure.

Its president Teong Teck Lean said the local express delivery industry was undergoing rapid transformation brought upon by the forces of globalisation.

“Customers have higher expectations and are becoming more demanding now. They want their shipment to be delivered as fast as possible,” he said in an interview in Petaling Jaya.

Teong said the express delivery business had evolved into an infrastructure industry contributing significantly to the country’s economic growth.

The association has 12 members including Federal Express, DHL, UPS, TNT, GDex, City-Link, Nationwide, ABX and Skynet.

He said the foreign members of Amec were willing to share their expertise and know-how with the local operators in improving their services.

Teong said the premium segment of the local market was dominated by foreign operators which had the financial clout to invest heavily in the information technology (IT), thus giving them an edge over the local operators.

He said the local express delivery service industry could be categorised into the premium out bound segment dominated by few international operators, the mid-level segment controlled by several local operators offering premium services at competitive prices and the mass market segment swamped by numerous local operators offering low prices for services which do not have high level of reliability.

Teong said the performance of the local express delivery services was still poor as the majority of the operators were still two decades behind the international players.

Most of them were engaged in price wars among themselves and were unwilling to invest in IT, he said. “As the use of IT has enabled international operators to identity their weaknesses, they will be in a better position to continuously improve their services compared with the locals.”

Teong said many Malaysian express services users wanted to enjoy a high level of service close to that offered by international operators but at affordable prices.

“We feel that local operators will initiate some mergers among themselves or pool their resources to provide better services,” he said.

The association also called on the government to waive the 5% service tax imposed on domestic deliveries to enable local operators to re-invest the savings in IT and improve their services.

( Hong Boon How )

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