Govt to cater to e-commerce boom in national transportation plan

The National Transport Policy revealed that on estimate, every one in five trips taken by households nationwide is shopping related. — Bernama pic
The National Transport Policy revealed that on estimate, every one in five trips taken by households nationwide is shopping related. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 17 — The planning of the country’s transportation framework must take into account commercial traffic growth which is booming owing to increasing public appetite for e-commerce, the National Transport Policy (NTP) 2019-2030 highlighted.

In the report unveiled today, the NTP revealed that on estimate, every one in five trips taken by households nationwide, is shopping related, and that the proliferation of e-commerce and online shopping platforms has the potential to replace a significant portion of these trips in future.

This in return, the report said, would see the e-commerce growth opening demands for infrastructure and facilities to facilitate for the inter-state movement of goods from production centers, intra-state movement of goods to localised distribution points as well as last mile delivery from distribution centers to consumers.

“The e-commerce contribution to Gross Domestic Product recorded RM49 billion in 2012 and increased to RM68 billion in 2015. The upward trend is expected to continue, almost doubling in 2020 with RM114 billion under business as usual scenario, and expected to hit RM170 billion with right interventions.

“A study in 2016 suggests that Malaysia is at an inflection point of e-commerce growth with a projected annual growth rate of 11 per cent which is indicative of significant potential for growth.

“As online shopping captures a larger market share, it will reduce consumer travel associated with shopping trips, however commercial traffic will increase as a result,” the report said.

It added that the last-mile delivery into congested urban areas, as well as the advent of new logistic technologies and business models such as autonomous deliveries and consolidated deliveries, must be given attention.

The NTP also stressed on the need to increase efficiency in managing air traffic, particularly that brought by low-cost carriers.

The report cited the International Air Transport Association’s 7.2 billion projection of travellers globally, doubling from the 3.8 billion in 2016.

“The National Transport Strategy Study by World Bank (2014) forecasts the annual growth of passengers of 4.1 per cent between 2013-2033 in Kuala Lumpur International Airport, 6.1 per cent in Penang Airport and 5.5 per cent in the Kota Kinabalu International Airport.

“Future planning needs to take into account future growth in passengers as well as in airfreight,” the report said, pointing out that air travel in the past decade have been shaped by the high growth in low-cost carriers (LCCs), which account for as much as 25 per cent of the global industry’s estimates.

“Aside from their impact on passenger growth and mobility, LCCs have brought about fundamental changes in air travel such as focus on secondary airports, the adoption of point-to-point travel (as opposed to the traditional hub and spoke model) and increased automation in both sales and services (i.e. check in and boarding),” the NTP read.

The NTP was developed through close collaboration between the government and private sector.

Since September 2016, over 150 members from the government, academia and representatives of the private sector have convened in a series of workshops, focus group discussions and meetings, to formulate the transport sector blueprint.

The plan highlights visions for land, air and sea transport, for both passenger and cargo movements.

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