Target Logistic Services is creating its own transportation “common market” with daily trucking service between Malaysia, Thailand & Singapore.

Four to five 40-footers now are making a daily circuit between the three nations delivering both consumer and business products.

The new three nation trucking service was announced by H.S. Cheng, director of Target’s Malaysian operation. Speaking from his headquarters in Penang, Cheng stated, “The intra-Asian market is among the fastest growing in the world. There is an enormous need for dependable, consistent surface transportation on a scheduled basis for the growing economies of the three nations.”

Target Logistic Services, which recently celebrated its 16th year in Malaysia, has witnessed remarkable economic progress in the three nations of Southeast Asia during that time. Starting with a small, single office in Penang in 1991, Target now has three facilities in Malaysia—one in the nation’s capital of Kuala Lampur, Johor and a greatly expanded terminal in Penang. The international logistics provider, whose headquarters are located in Carson, CA, also has offices throughout Asia.

In addition to the three nation scheduled trucking service, which the forwarder believes is the first of its kind in southeast Asia, Target is operating daily truck service from Penang, Johor and Kuala Lampur to Singapore.

Target has started this new service based on growing intra-Asian trade. While the nations of Asia have not decoupled completely from the US economy, they are far stronger and more self reliant than during a previous US recession in the early years of the 21st century.

“Asia now stands on her own two feet,” declared Director Cheng. “Trade between the non-Chinese nations of Asia is growing at almost a 25 per cent annual rate, far greater than between the US and Asia,” he added.

While Target is devoting considerable time and effort to develop this new “common market” trucking service, which it believes will be a major contributor to the Asian logistics infrastructure, it is hardly neglecting the forwarder’s established activities in Malaysia and elsewhere in Asia. The company is experiencing sharp growth in its airfreight activities between Malaysia, the US and Europe. Cheng reports the decline of the US dollar has stimulated imports into Malaysia from the US “Our trade imbalance, which historically has favored exports over imports, is narrowing,” stated Cheng.

Cheng expects a 50 per cent growth in Target’s cargo operations in Malaysia during 2008, with the greatest increase generated by air. “Electronic equipment and parts still generate the most volume,” he commented. “Apparel volume will decline as the manufacture of both women’s and men’s clothing will shift to lower cost nations like Vietnam and Cambodia,” Target’s Malaysian Director declared.

Cheng credits the Malaysian government with a business-friendly atmosphere that has helped transform that nation from primarily an exporter of commodities like rubber and tin, to a country with a sophisticated industrial base. He noted that Malaysia has spent billions of dollars converting its once primitive systems of road and rail to a modern transportation network. “Today, six lane expressways bind the nation together and connect to surrounding countries, making our common market trucking operation possible,” averred the Target director. Cheng noted that seaports also have been modernized, expanded and even constructed from scratch as the one serving the city of Johor.

In its 16 year Malaysian operation, Target has evolved from basically a cargo delivery system to complete supply chain capability. Inventory control, automated warehouse systems, pick ‘n pack facilities—all are in place at the Target facilities. Customs inspectors are located right on the premises, which allow customs clearance in hours rather than days.

Cheng pointed to a new warehouse management system (WMS) where worldwide customers can review inventory and distribution of their products in real time. Using ti