By Travis Teo
SINGAPORE: Express delivery company TNT said more companies are transporting goods by road and its freight volume grew by 70 per cent over the past 18 months.
So it has invested a further US$5.5 million to improve its Asia Road Network programme.
This brings the total investment to US$15.4 million over the last five years.
Demand for overland transportation has grown and TNT is making sure it's tapping the opportunities.
It has added a fleet of 12 new trucks which will be plying its Asia Road Network within the next two years.
The network spans over 127 cities, including Singapore, Thailand, China, Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos.
TNT said more companies are opting for land transportation as air freight rates have risen in the past months.
It added that moving cargo overland cost 30 per cent less.
David Stenberg, general manager, Asia Road Network, TNT Express Worldwide, said: "The new vehicles are about 3 tons lighter than the old combinations so obviously we are pulling less steel around and so there's immediate fuel saving here.
“The engine in these vehicles reduces fuel usage as well. We're estimating a minimum of a 17 per cent reduction in carbon emissions in implementing these vehicles versus our old technology."
TNT said US$1.8 million will go towards enhancing security features in the trucks.
They include built-in security and remote monitoring system.
Shawn Sanderson, Global Sales & Marketing director, Astrata, said: "When we look at security within Asia, 62 per cent of losses happen while the vehicles are on the route.
“If you can secure the vehicle and understand where it’s supposed to be, you can reduce that 62 per cent and then there's millions of dollars in savings just purely about avoiding lose."
TNT said its Asia Road Network is linked to various facilities in the region, including the US$14.5 million regional hub in Singapore.
In Singapore, the volume of goods transported on the network grew by 52 per cent between January 2009 and 2010.
The company also plans to increase its reach in China, extending to the Yangtze river delta within this year and near Kunming by 2011.
Kunming will be the gateway for TNT to expand into the Chengdu and Chongqing cities as well. Meanwhile, the company said entry into India is still in the trial stages. - CNA/vm