“More than 40 per cent of global trade now takes place between APEC (Asia-Pacifi c Economic Co-operation) members,” said UPS regional vicepresident of international trade services James Goh, adding that “rapid growth is expected to continue, especially after the region had shown its resilience with an early recovery from the recent economic crisis”.
Contributions from Asia Pacific’s exports and imports will continue to come from the electrical and electronic equipment industry, accounting for 17.2 per cent and 15.7 per cent of the total respectively, he said.
Goh believes China and Japan will continue to be the top exporting and importing countries in the Asia-Pacific region as they account for over 50 per cent of the transpacific volume.
While the shipping sector has seen rapid cargo growth in Asia air transportation has also seen significant growth with general Asian freight traffic expected to grow at 5.4 per cent annually and intra-Asia cargo at 8.6 per cent. Time-definite air express segments are expected to grow at around 13.8 per cent, according to Goh.
UPS forecasts a growing demand for deliveries within 48 hours. “We are now seeing more and more B2B (business-tobusiness) customers requiring deliveries within 24 hours intra-Asia, when 36 to 48 hours transit times were acceptable just a year ago,” Goh said.
On the outlook for the remaining months of 2008, Goh said, “Th ese days, manufacturers and suppliers, traders and carriers, customers and trade agencies and Customs administrations have to be connected like never before,” he added.