WITH a stronger ringgit in sight, the logistic industry in the country is expected to rebound this year.
“A stronger ringgit will see more imports and improved logistic activities, reversing the trend of the past 12 months.
“For the past one year, the logistic industry declined by about 5% to 10%, due to a weak ringgit and a soft electronics and semiconductor business environment,” said Lee Ting San Lorry Transport Sdn Bhd (LTS) chief executive officer Lee Kah Chye.
Affin Hwang Asset Management Bhd, however, is optimistic about the ringgit’s performance this year, thanks to the recent influx of funds into the country.
Malaysia’s economy recorded a robust growth of 5.6% in the first quarter of 2017 against 4.1% in the same quarter of 2016, boosted by strong domestic demand and private expenditure.
LTS is in a good position to benefit from the ringgit’s recovery, as its customer base is growing due to fresh investments to replace old vehicles, and the implementation of an online customer support portal.
“Since early this year, our customer base has grown because of the investment we made into setting up an online portal for customers to place orders and track the delivery progress of their cargo.
“We developed a software application for our truck drivers to key in the progress of their delivery and inform our customers once the cargo is delivered.
“The investment for both the portal and software application was about RM300,000.
“For 2017, our customer base should grow by 8%, and in 2018 by about 20%,” Lee said.
He said the online customer portal extended the capabilities of its integrated logistics system, which provided a platform for swift service engagement.
“With this online application, customers can gain access to essential tracking and monitoring information, billing management and order placement,” he added.
The company is also spending about RM50mil to replace its fleet of prime movers and trucks.
“We have been gradually replacing some 500 prime movers and trucks since 2015. The replacement exercise is about 80% complete.
“The new vehicles, equipped with fuel-efficient engines, cut carbon dioxide emission and maintenance cost. The new fleet also helped to pull in new customers,” he added.
LTS won the Silver award for Best Green Initiative of The Star Outstanding Business Awards (SOBA) 2016.
Currently, it has 1,200 trailers and 280 haulage prime movers and bonded trucks that are equipped with GPS tracking capabilities and customised features for the specific needs of customers from different industries.
“We are fully committed to the ongoing investment in security solutions.
“We have put in place an integrated security monitoring system in our facilities. The advance GPS tracking system gives our operations supreme tracking capabilities and tools to respond to unexpected situations quickly, providing pivotal support for the delivery team in the field,” Lee added.
LTS has also invested RM30mil for a new 20,438.6sq m warehouse in Kulim Industrial Park, Perak, to better serve its customers in the area.
“The warehouse will be operational in August. Our present warehouse (which is 27,871sq m), located on a 4.04ha site in Prai Industrial Estate, Penang, is equipped with facilities for rack and bulk-stack storage,” he said.
To compete in the logistic industry, LTS positions itself as a logistic partner which collaborates with its customers to meet challenges.
“Through the collaborations, we aim to build long-term partnerships to suit their business needs in terms of service, cost and reliability.
“After operating in the north for many years with an in-depth understanding of the logistic industry, we go beyond just providing point-to-port container transportation.
“We work with customers to identify the best solutions for their haulage needs, which range from delivering in the best possible time frame to helping customers identify the most feasible container transportation plan,” he said.
For example, LTS also offers opportunities to lease both vehicles and warehouses to customers.
“We provide such services because businesses often face cyclical challenges or new ad-hoc opportunities that may require additional facilities or resources in their supply chain,” Lee explained.
LTS also has logistic consulting and integrated logistic services for its customers thorough LTS Distribution, a subsidiary of the group.
“Our extensive warehousing, transportation network and technical capabilities set us apart as a knowledge-based logistics partner that develops innovative and integrated solutions-based logistics services.”
Founded by Lee’s father Lee Ting San, LTS started in 1974 as a small enterprise providing basic goods delivery in Penang.
Since then, it has expanded its business services across different points of the supply chain process, making the group one of the main logistics partners in the region.
The group comprises four major subsidiaries and commands a fleet of about 2,000 vehicles that form its nationwide and cross-border transportation services.