Johor will have a new regional e-commerce logistics hub! The developers for this hub are shipping and logistics firm PDZ Holdings Bhd and property developer Sanichi Technology Bhd.

Both PDZ and Sanichi will jointly develop the hub at a cost of over RM1.5 billion in Desaru, Kota Tinggi.

This was confirmed by Sanichi group managing director Datuk Sri Dr. Pang Chow Huat who told the New Straits Times (NST) that the company is planning to develop the e-commerce logistics hub with PDZ.

The NST reported today that the logistics hub is designated to handle activities related to transportation, separation, coordination and distribution of goods for local and international transit, and will target supply-chain players akin to the one developed by e-commerce logistics giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd in China.

According to the NST report, it has seen a document stating that the hub is expected to be developed over 234 acres in Desaru, Kota Tinggi. It also said PDZ and Sanichi will jointly apply for approval from the relevant government agencies in Johor to develop the hub.

Pang told the NST that the logistics hub is a mixed-development, comprising an e-commerce center, a distribution center, warehouses and a transit center and that "it will run into several billion ringgit."

He said both PDZ and Sanichi plan to develop the logistics hub to ride on the exponential growth in the e-commerce business across Asia.

PDZ could be moving into the e-commerce business after recently winning a RM600 million contract from a big e-commerce platform operator in China. The Chinese operator could be Alibaba Group Holding Ltd or Tencent Holdings Ltd who currently dominate the China e-commerce market with platforms such as Taobao and JD.com Inc.

PDZ is involved in the container liner business. According to its website, it operates six vessels that cover domestic and regional trade between Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore and Myanmar.

The stock has increased by over 200 per cent from nine sen on July 7 to its closing price of 24 sen today, boosting its market capitalisation from RM79.79 million to RM208.35 million.

The stock rose 3 sen or 14.63 per cent higher today, and a total of 581 million shares were traded today.

I'm wondering whether Malaysian billionaire Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Albukhary has been buying shares in PDZ.

I have mentioned in one of our previous articles that Syed Mokhtar could be eyeing a controlling stake in PDZ to expand his logistics empire. I did also mention that PDZ and Sanichi will jointly develop a logistics hub in Johor and that turned out to be true.

If all goes well for PDZ and Sanichi in terms of getting all the necessary approvals, it is quite possible that they will start building the hub towards the end of this year or early next year and this will give the existing players in Johor a run for their money. Nevertheless, the logistics business is huge for everyone to share.

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