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Published: 04 January 2014

In the headlights: Outlook for South East Asia's trucking industry in 2014

Within the South East Asia Region each country has its own set of challenges and opportunities, driven by demographics such as Singapore for example, which is a small but technically advanced country and Vietnam which requires long-haul trucking to cover the distance between major cities but does not yet have world class infrastructure in place across the nation.

From this analysis there are several trends that can be identified. These will not only impact the trucking industry per se, but also how the transport sector will develop and address needs driven by customer demand.

Continued growth
Every trucking company we are talking to is expecting to increase sales of its vehicles. This increase in demand is a result of an incremental improvement in infrastructure and cross border services connecting South East Asian countries. Many ASEAN nations are moving towards developed nation status which will result in growing domestic demand for consumer products as expendable income increases. This will lead to an exponential increase in demand for transportation capacity with road networks providing the most direct and cost effective mode of transportation.

As an example of the importance of the region to truck manufacturers Volvo sold a total of 224, 017 trucks in 2012 of those 51, 514 were in Asia.

Increased connectivity and urbanisation
More roads are being built, better connectivity is provided. With that, more sophisticated distribution networks will be possible and required. Transportation solutions will call for a wider range of trucks to be used . While the road networks of countries in the region will improve and expand, allowing for better, faster and more effective transportation, continued urbanisation will pose challenges for the trucking industry. The Malaysian Government is expecting that 5% more people will live in cities by 2020 compared to today. Both, trucks and busses will need to be able to meet the requirements for both developments.

The full Asian Trucker article on the outlook for 2014 will be published in Cargonews Asia's January issue.