Release Date:
Release ID: 5813

DHL demystifies Asian trade trends and uncovers supply chain implications

DHL study highlights six key Asian emerging economies (The Asian 6) to watch for growth opportunities; intra-APAC trade lanes projected to account for 50 percent of key global trade lanes by 2030
Businesses that learn how to tap onto trade and infrastructural development initiatives can gain competitive advantage
Omni-channel approach including cross border e-commerce is necessary to win modern consumer’s loyalty
Successful global logistics providers will have strong end-to end-offerings established in Asia Pacific

The DHL study “Demystifying Asia Pacific Trade Trends” presents key APAC trade trends and their supply chain implications. In the current fragile global macroeconomic environment, the APAC region remains a beacon of optimism, positioned to be the world’s fastest growing region with trade as a key growth sector. APAC’s importance in world trade will continue to grow with intra-APAC trade lanes projected to account for 50 percent of top 15 global trade lanes by 2030[1].

Emerging manufacturing hubs, increasing domestic consumption and rapidly growing e-commerce are key drivers of APAC’s strong growth. China remains the world’s undisputed manufacturing hub, even as companies diversify operations to neighboring emerging markets such as India and Vietnam. Businesses are adopting the so-called “Plus One” strategy due to increasing labor costs, the growing need for resilience, and strong potential in these markets. Trade initiatives such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will make APAC countries even more attractive as manufacturing bases, especially Vietnam.

Investments in six high potential Asian economies (China, India, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia) as well as into trade-lanes, such as China-India and China-Indonesia which enter the Top 15 trade lanes globally by 2030, are crucial.

“To exploit this increase in regional-movement of goods, businesses should be looking to invest in the Asian 6 economies. Companies must leverage on initiatives such as TPP, ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), and China’s Belt and Road, to lower barriers in intra-APAC trade and increase multimodal transport solutions. Businesses have opportunities to adopt new regional strategies delivering better service at lower cost”, says Mei Yee Pang, Vice President, Innovation, Solution Delivery & Service Management APAC, DHL.

Cross-border e-commerce infrastructure will be a critical growth enabler in the region. The rise of e-commerce has enabled SMEs to reach across borders to access new markets, leading to increasing cross-border trade.

“Asia Pacific is the world’s biggest and fastest growing B2C e-commerce region, recording US$877.61 billion in retail e-commerce sales in 2015, and is expected to grow to over US$1.89 trillion by 2018[2]. The rise of e-commerce has triggered changing purchasing behavior and consumer expectations. APAC consumers demand a highly personalized shopping journey with the convenience of shopping on- and offline, and the ability to move seamlessly across channels,” says Malcolm Monteiro, CEO, Asia Pacific, DHL eCommerce. “To meet changing consumer expectations companies must adopt an omni-channel strategy. Convenience to consumers is as important as providing fast and reliable logistics solutions.”

“E-commerce logistics is changing rapidly confronting logistics with new issues and opportunities. The complexity in regulations, and fragmentation in the logistics marketplace, are forcing the industry to develop better fulfillment solutions for end-to-end B2B, B2C, and now increasingly B2B2C sales”, says Alfred Goh, Global Head, Fast Growing Enterprises, DHL.

The DHL study highlights that the importance of intra-APAC trade and the Asian 6 economies will continue to grow. Collaboration between governments, businesses and logistics providers will ensure trade enhancing initiatives realize their potential, and deliver significant efficiency gains for the supply chains in the region.

The study “Demystifying Asia Pacific Trade Trends” is available online at
59 Piccadilly Manchester M1 2AQ
Telephone: +44 (0)161 408 0542
Fax: +44 (0)870 432 1732

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