FedEx Trade keen on Thailand's freight market

FedEx Trade Networks, a unit of FedEx Corporation, has opened its first office in Thailand after a decade of keeping a minimal presence, aiming to tap the country's fast-growing freight forwarding market.

Vice-president Joseph Frank said Thailand has become "the most strategic area" in Asia-Pacific and a critical market for FedEx.

"We are very upbeat about Asean and Thailand's position there," he said, predicting heavy growth in the region with several free trade agreements.

Freight forwarding has grown sharply in the past few years and momentum is set to continue, said Mr Frank.

In 2011, the Thai freight forwarding market grew by 2.3% from the year before, to US$2.03 million. The annual figure is expected to reach $3.3 million by 2015.

FedEx previously operated in Thailand through a partnership with MSI Logistics, a mid-sized local logistics company. MSI Logistics has a customs broker dealing with export and import clearances and provides local transport services.

Mr Frank said the new office will be able to cater to more types of demands from customers, as logistics systems become more complex and intricate.

"We may be late to the market compared with our competitors, but we grew our own business and did not buy up companies," he said.

The company also has offices in Singapore and Vietnam along with 14 other offices in Asia-Pacific.

Trade between Asia and Europe is the largest between two regions in the world, ahead of Asia's trade with North America, he said.

Asia-Pacific accounts for 40% of FedEx Corp's revenues.

Some 80% of global logistics travels via the ocean compared with 20% by air, a trend that is not likely to change soon, said Mr Frank.

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Writer: Soonya Vanichkorn
Position: Reporter