Upgrading ops: For this year, GDEX has allocated between RM20mil and RM30mil to upgrade the facilities at its hubs and for IT development. THE rapid shift in both consumer behaviour and the digitalisation of businesses has not only spiked demand for delivery services but also nudged the latter to evolve.Courier companies, at least those that are competitive, are fast seeking ways to make their deliveries faster, safer and more reliable. GDEX Bhd lays claim to being one of the first courier companies to tap into the e-commerce boom, way before the current coronavirus pandemic began.It has created myGDEX, an online shipping platform and a cloud-based call centre as well as an interactive voice response (IVR) support system. GDEX had also developed platforms such as deKat, a social commerce supply chain platform for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and a last-mile delivery platform (KITA) targeted at that segment too.GDEX managing director and group CEO Teong Teck Lean (pic below) expects the boom in e-commerce to continue, driven by migration of businesses from offline to online, especially in the business-to-business (B2B) segment. This will continue to be the driver for GDEX’s parcel volume growth, moving forward.“Our digital initiatives will make Gdex more cost-efficient without compromising on service quality. Gdex will come out with more product offerings and expand into new revenue streams, ” he tells StarBizWeek.The new platforms such myGDEX would not only strengthen the group’s operations but will also allow GDEX to tap into the business-to-consumer (B2C) and consumer-to-consumer (C2C) segments, Teong points out.“While the B2B segment is the company’s bread and butter, we foresee B2C and C2C to register higher growth as compared to the B2B segment. “We also plan to grow our warehouse fulfilment business, which offers customised end-to-end solutions. “We will continue to develop new products to cater for new trends, especially in the social commerce space, ” Teong says.In December, GDEX partnered with Tasco Bhd to create a comprehensive logistics service as both companies have different strengths. Both companies have signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) to finalise this plan. Tasco will be given the priority to leverage GDEX’s last-mile fulfilment capabilities, while GDEX can tap into Tasco’s international logistics network as well as its local cold supply chain infrastructure and convenience retail logistics network.Interestingly, Tasco, which is a leading cold-chain logistics player, has said that it is ready to support the local distribution of Covid-19 vaccines. When asked if GDEX sees a potential collaboration with Tasco for vaccine logistics, Teong says: “We are open to that if the opportunity arises. With our extensive network and system in place, we believe we can assist the government in distributing the vaccines provided that the packages meet our delivery requirements.” GDEX currently handles the transporting of time-sensitive medical samples for chains of hospitals and clinics.Teong says that for this year, GDEX has allocated between RM20mil and RM30mil to upgrade the facilities at its hubs and for IT development. Both Tasco and GDEX have companies from Japan as their major shareholders. Tasco is a 55.38%-owned subsidiary of Japan’s Yusen Logistics Co Ltd, while Japan-based express delivery giant Yamato Holdings Co Ltd holds a 22.83% stake in GDEX.The collaboration with Tasco could also help GDEX face the massive competition in the delivery segment, which has led to price wars. To date, there are 110 licensed courier companies in the country. However, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission has recently announced a two-year freeze on the issuance of new courier service licences. GDEX is in a net cash position of close to RM80mil, with almost zero borrowings.For the first quarter ended Sept 30,2020, GDEX posted a 51% rise in net profit to RM7.2mil from RM4.8mil a year earlier due to increasing demand from online business activities. Its logistics and warehousing services also did well. The group also attributed the growth to its operational efficiencies as a result of the digitalisation of internal systems and processes.Teong expects the e-commerce industry to continue growing post-pandemic and that the company’s digital initiatives will make GDEX more cost-efficient without compromising on its service quality. “We aim to become known as a digital company, ” he says.
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