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Trains, not trucks, for cheaper & safer logistics: ECRL freights to allow Perodua to deliver cars faster with lower shipping costs

Sanjay · Jun 11, 2024 10:47 AM

Trains, not trucks, for cheaper & safer logistics: ECRL freights to allow Perodua to deliver cars faster with lower shipping costs 01

Perodua's signing of the memoranda of understanding with Malaysia Rail Link (MRL) and Kuantan Port to use the upcoming East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) network for their deliveries is bound to help customers in more ways than one.

Speaking to the press at the signing ceremony in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, the carmaker's CEO, Dato' Sri Zainal Abidin Ahmad, affirmed that rail transport can help Perodua deliver cars and goods (parts, in this case) faster.

Trains, not trucks, for cheaper & safer logistics: ECRL freights to allow Perodua to deliver cars faster with lower shipping costs 02

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Their efforts are also helped by having a "first-mover's advantage" as Perodua's the first carmaker to hop on board ECRL for logistics.

"Based on the current volume, we plan to use ECRL for a daily average [of deliveries] of around 300 units per day. As mentioned by the minister, because we are the first company to approach ECRL, the platforms and the carriages will all be tailor-made to our requirements," he said.

Datuk Zainal continued, "We will have the benefit of scheduled timing. For example, 10 pm to 12 am is Perodua's time to deliver the cars from here to Kuantan. By having this, people in the East Coast and Sabah and Sarawak will get their cars faster compared to the current system that we have," he explained.

Trains, not trucks, for cheaper & safer logistics: ECRL freights to allow Perodua to deliver cars faster with lower shipping costs 01

Dato' Sri Zainal

The "current system" that Datuk Zainal mentions is the usual transport trucks that deliver cars nationwide, which are inherently open to road mishaps—something that rail transport can better mitigate.

Faster turnaround, more savings

Trains, not trucks, for cheaper & safer logistics: ECRL freights to allow Perodua to deliver cars faster with lower shipping costs 02

Complete cars are one part of the equation which will be complemented by the transport of parts and accessories as well. To that end, Perodua is also exploring ways to utilise the link to stabilise their supply chain costs.

"Now we are planning to have a regional spare parts centre, and we might have one in Kuantan, for example. If we deliver spare parts now using lorries, we have to use boxes. If we use ECRL, we can use returnable crates; these are the things that we have to consider to minimise the cost," Datuk Zainal explained.

"Of course, in terms of cost, say if we can use ECRL and at the same time Kuantan Port, our shipment to Sabah and Sarawak will also be shorter and faster, and that will reduce our total logistics costs from our factory," he continued.

Trains, not trucks, for cheaper & safer logistics: ECRL freights to allow Perodua to deliver cars faster with lower shipping costs 03

The ECRL, owned by Malaysian Rail Link, is a 665 km-long network that links the West Cost and East Coast, with trains going up to Kota Bharu all the way from Port Klang. The Kuantan Port stop will integrate shipping to the rest of Asia Pacific and East Malaysia.

As of May 2024, the fully-electrified rail project is at 65% completion. It is bound to be operational beginning January 2027 (from Kota Bharu to ITT Gombak), with full operating capacity to start in January 2028, which is when shipments of goods will start too.

On a separate matter, Perodua confirmed that the floating of diesel prices will not affect their cars' prices.

Sanjay

Senior Writer

With humble beginnings collecting diecast models and spending hours virtually tuning dream cars on the computer, his love of cars has delightfully transformed into a career. Sanjay enjoys how the same passion for cars transcends boundaries and brings people together.

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