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E-Commerce Logistics Race in Southeast Asia: Which Country Performed the Best in Q1 2022?

Sep 01, 2022

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  • Malaysia had the fastest transit time of 1.37 days in the first quarter of 2022.

  • Indonesia had the highest first-attempt delivery success rate of 96.8% in Q1 2022, followed by Singapore (94.4%), Thailand (93.2%) and Malaysia (90.1%).

  • Most delivery issues in Southeast Asia stem from the carriers’ end (i.e. delayed deliveries and shipments on hold) – 4.03% in Indonesia, 3.77% in Singapore, 7.29% in Thailand and 10.02% in Malaysia.

Southeast Asia (SEA) is a region with plenty of business potential and expansion opportunities regarding e-commerce. Fuelled by massive growth in the digital payments sector and shifting consumer attitudes, today's e-commerce market in SEA is dominated by some key regional players such as Shopee and Lazada, along with many other local business-to-consumer (B2C) platforms. 

Despite its seemingly nascent e-commerce infrastructure, SEA’s internet economy is projected to surpass USD 360 billion by 2025, according to a recent study done by Google, Temasek and Bain & Company. The same report also highlighted that e-commerce could make up ⅔ of the region’s Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) in 2030.

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With these findings in mind, we have examined the key performance indicators for e-commerce logistics in select Southeast Asian countries, namely Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia. Where did these e-commerce markets stand against one another? Which country performed the best in Q1 2022? Let’s find out!

Malaysia Had the Shortest Transit Time of 1.37 Days in Q1 2022 in Southeast Asia

Based on our findings, Malaysia had the fastest transit time of 1.37 days in the first quarter of 2022. This is in line with the fact that many Malaysian carrier companies – one of them being Deutsche Post DHL Group – saw an improvement in their key performance indicators in comparison to the year before. Meanwhile, both Singapore and Indonesia experienced a slightly longer transit time of 1.46 days, while Thailand took the slowest (2.68 days) during the same period.

Malaysia’s top transit time performance in Q1 2022 was potentially due to several courier companies' recent enhancement of delivery services. Lalamove, for one, expanded its delivery coverage to Johor and Penang in April 2021, using larger vehicles to transport the bulkier items. Additionally, it also launched long-haul delivery services for same-day delivery to Johor and Penang around the same time.

First-Attempt Delivery Success Rate Decreased Over the Year in All 4 Southeast Asian Countries 

Online shoppers today demand fast and reliable delivery. To meet this expectation, e-commerce businesses need a fulfillment partner that can consistently deliver high first-attempt success rates. A successful first-time delivery service not only results in a delightful customer experience, but also eliminates additional costs associated with multiple delivery attempts on the courier’s end. 

Within Southeast Asia, Indonesia had the highest first-attempt delivery success rate of 96.8% in Q1 2022, followed by Singapore (94.4%), Thailand (93.2%) and Malaysia (90.1%). It was interesting to note that all 4 aforementioned countries saw a decline in the percentage of successful first-attempt deliveries over the year from Q1 2021 to Q2 2022. One possible explanation could be that fewer people are staying home to receive parcels following the easing of lockdown restrictions across the region.

Majority of Delivery Issues in Southeast Asia Stem From Carriers’ End

As SEA becomes one of the fastest-growing e-commerce markets in the world, it is increasingly important to have a successful delivery strategy in this region. Having said that, the delivery landscape in SEA can be difficult to navigate, presenting many challenges and obstacles such as the lack of adequate infrastructure.

Delivery issues can be caused by a variety of factors that differ from country to country. Understanding the root cause of delivery failures will enable courier firms to better manage customer expectations as well as improve their fulfillment capacities. With reference to our data, most delivery issues in SEA stem from the carriers’ end (i.e. delayed deliveries and shipments on hold) – 4.03% in Indonesia, 3.77% in Singapore, 7.29% in Thailand and 10.02% in Malaysia. As such, Southeast Asian retailers can focus on customer support by keeping consumers constantly informed on their parcel status and potential delays when looking to enhance their delivery performance in the future.

The Future of E-Commerce in Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia is a tempting prospect for online retailers with over 400 million internet users and a booming digital economy. In order to stay competitive in such an environment, companies will need to invest in innovative technologies and optimize their fulfillment strategies. Parcel delivery services will be crucial to success, and those companies that can provide fast, reliable service will be well-positioned to capture a large share of the market.

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