Essential Guide to the Logistics Industry in Malaysia

How Big is the Logistics Industry in Malaysia

The logistics industry in Malaysia is a significant contributor to the country’s economy, generating substantial revenue and employment opportunities. According to Mordor Intelligence, the Malaysia freight and logistics market size was estimated at 26.35 billion USD in 2023 and is projected to reach 35.10 billion USD by 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 4.90% during the forecast period.

The industry’s growth is driven by several factors, including:

  • Malaysia’s strategic location: Situated at the heart of Southeast Asia, Malaysia serves as a vital hub for international trade and logistics, facilitating the movement of goods across the region.

  • Economic diversification: Malaysia’s diversified economy, encompassing various industries like manufacturing, electronics, agriculture, and pharmaceuticals, generates a broad demand base for logistics services.

  • E-commerce boom: The surge in e-commerce has significantly boosted the need for logistics services, particularly in last-mile delivery and warehousing.

  • Government initiatives: The Malaysian government has implemented supportive measures to enhance the logistics sector, including infrastructure development, promotion of automation and digitization, and backing for research and innovation.

The industry encompasses various segments: transportation, warehousing, distribution, and value-added services. Road transportation dominates the industry, accounting for over 70% of freight movement. Warehousing facilities provide storage solutions for goods at various supply chain stages. Distribution entails the movement of goods from warehouses to retail outlets or end-consumers. Value-added services include specialized offerings like packaging, labelling, freight forwarding, customs clearance, and cold chain management.

Logistics Industry Outlook for 2023 in Malaysia

The logistics industry outlook for 2023 in Malaysia is mixed, with some segments expected to experience growth while others face challenges.

Positive Factors

  • E-commerce boom: The continued growth of e-commerce is expected to drive demand for last-mile delivery and warehousing services.

  • Government initiatives: The Malaysian government has implemented several initiatives to support the logistics industry, such as the National Logistics Blueprint and the Logistics and Supply Chain Sustainability Roadmap.

  • Infrastructure development: Ongoing infrastructure projects like the Pan Borneo Highway and the West Coast Rail Link are expected to improve connectivity and reduce transportation costs.


  • Global economic slowdown: The global economy is expected to slow down in 2023, which could dampen demand for logistics services.

  • Rising fuel costs: Fuel costs are expected to remain high in 2023, which could pressure logistics providers’ margins.

  • Labour shortages: The logistics industry is facing a shortage of skilled labour, which could make it challenging to meet demand.

Overall Outlook

Despite the challenges, the overall outlook for the Malaysian logistics industry 2023 is positive. The industry is expected to grow slower than in 2022, but it is still likely to contribute to the Malaysian economy significantly.

Key Trends to Watch

  • Automation and digitisation: Logistics providers in Malaysia are increasingly adopting automation and digitisation to improve efficiency and reduce costs.

  • Sustainability: The Malaysian logistics industry is increasingly focused on sustainability, focusing on reducing emissions and waste.

  • Supply chain resilience: Malaysian businesses are looking for ways to make their supply chains more resilient to disruptions.

What is the Future of Logistics in Malaysia

The future of logistics in Malaysia is characterized by a dynamic and evolving landscape driven by technological advancements, e-commerce growth, and sustainability initiatives. Here are some key trends shaping the future of logistics in Malaysia:

1. Embracing Automation and Digitization:

Automation and digitization are transforming the logistics industry, enabling enhanced efficiency, cost reduction, and data-driven decision-making. Logistics providers are adopting technologies like robotics, automated guided vehicles (AGVs), warehouse management systems (WMS), and transportation management systems (TMS) to streamline operations and optimize resource utilization.

2. E-commerce Driving Last-mile Delivery:

The e-commerce boom propels the demand for last-mile delivery services, which involve the final stage of product delivery to the customer’s doorstep. Logistics providers are investing in last-mile delivery solutions, including drone delivery, micro-mobility, and flexible delivery options, to meet the evolving needs of e-commerce customers.

3. Supply Chain Integration and Collaboration:

Businesses emphasise seamless supply chain integration to enhance visibility, collaboration, and responsiveness. Logistics providers collaborate with manufacturers, retailers, and other supply chain partners to optimize inventory management, reduce lead times, and improve customer satisfaction.

4. Sustainability Imperatives:

Sustainability is becoming a critical factor in logistics operations, focusing on reducing environmental impact and minimizing waste. Logistics providers are adopting eco-friendly practices, such as using alternative fuels, optimizing routes, and implementing sustainable packaging solutions, to lower their carbon footprint.

5. Talent Development and Skills Upgrading:

The logistics industry faces a shortage of skilled labour, requiring a focus on talent development and skills upgrading. Logistics providers invest in training programs, apprenticeships, and partnerships with educational institutions to address the skills gap and attract qualified personnel.

6. Data Analytics and Predictive Modeling:

Data analytics and predictive modelling are gaining prominence in logistics, enabling data-driven decision-making and predictive maintenance. Logistics providers leverage data analytics to optimize routes, forecast demand, and reduce downtime, improving efficiency and cost savings.

7. Regional Hub Potential:

Malaysia’s strategic location, well-developed infrastructure, and supportive government policies position it as a potential regional logistics hub. Logistics providers are capitalizing on these advantages to establish Malaysia as a centre for freight forwarding, warehousing, and distribution services across Southeast Asia.

In conclusion, the future of logistics in Malaysia is characterized by automation, digitization, e-commerce-driven last-mile delivery, supply chain integration, sustainability initiatives, talent development, data-driven decision-making, and regional hub potential. Logistics providers that embrace these trends and adapt to the evolving landscape will be well-positioned for success in the dynamic and competitive logistics industry.

What is the Logistics Industry

The logistics industry is a broad and dynamic sector that encompasses the planning, execution, and control of the flow of goods, information, and other resources from the origin to the end of consumption. It is a crucial component of the supply chain, ensuring that the right products are delivered to customers at the right time and cost.

Core Activities of the Logistics Industry

The logistics industry encompasses a wide range of activities, including:

  • Transportation: This involves the movement of goods from one location to another using various modes of transportation, such as road, rail, sea, and air.

  • Warehousing: This involves storing goods securely and organised until they are needed for further processing, distribution, or sale.

  • Inventory management: This involves optimizing the level and movement of inventory throughout the supply chain to ensure that goods are available when needed without excessive costs.

  • Packaging and labelling: This involves designing and implementing packaging solutions that protect goods during transit, meet regulatory requirements, and enhance the customer experience.

  • Order fulfilment involves processing customer orders, picking and packing goods, and ensuring timely delivery.

  • Information management: This involves collecting, analyzing, and sharing information about the movement of goods, inventory levels, and customer demand to optimize logistics operations.

Importance of the Logistics Industry

The logistics industry plays a critical role in the overall economy by:

  • Supporting businesses: Logistics providers enable companies to move goods to their customers efficiently, essential for their success.

  • Enhancing customer satisfaction: Logistics providers can contribute to customer satisfaction and loyalty by providing timely and accurate delivery.

  • Contributing to economic growth: Efficient logistics can lower costs, improve productivity, and boost trade, which contributes to economic growth.

  • Promoting sustainability: By optimizing transportation routes, using eco-friendly packaging, and minimizing waste, logistics providers can reduce their environmental impact.

Challenges and Opportunities

The logistics industry faces several challenges, including:

  • Globalisation and increased competition: The globalized nature of the industry makes it more competitive, and businesses are constantly seeking innovative and efficient logistics solutions.

  • Rising costs: The cost of fuel, labour, and infrastructure is increasing, putting pressure on logistics providers’ margins.

  • Evolving customer demands: Customers increasingly demand faster, more personalized delivery options.

  • Digital transformation: Adopting technology, such as IoT, big data, and automation, is transforming how logistics operations are managed.

Despite these challenges, the logistics industry also presents several opportunities, including:

  • E-commerce boom: The rapid growth of e-commerce drives demand for logistics services, particularly in last-mile delivery and warehousing.

  • Infrastructure development: Governments worldwide invest in infrastructure upgrades, such as ports, airports, and roads, to support the logistics sector.

  • Technological advancements: New technologies enable logistics providers to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and enhance customer service.

As the logistics industry evolves, companies that can adapt to new trends and leverage technology will be well-positioned for success.