Thailand’s food industry will drive growth in express logistics


The “Kitchen of the World” will feed a hungry logistics industry as rising demand for meat and seafood both at home and abroad will drive substantial growth in express cold chain logistics in Thailand, a research firm reported last week.

“The Thai cold chain logistics market is expected to reach $42 billion by 2022,” wrote Ken Research, a global market research consultancy based in India, in a report published last week.

Logistics is one of the growth industries driving Thailand’s development. The government is promoting and incentivizing investment in logistics as part of Thailand 4.0, the national strategy to boost the Kingdom’s progress to a higher level through innovation, research and development, and higher technologies.

“There has been increased focus from the government to improve the logistics infrastructure of the country to establish it as the logistics hub of ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) leveraging the strategic geographical location of Thailand. Thailand has access to the free trade zone of ASEAN and owing to this a lot of foreign firms are setting up their operation in Thailand,” Ken Research said.

Thailand is the only net food exporter in Asia. The government has sought to maximize that national strength with its Kitchen of the World campaign that promotes Thai food and agriculture exports. The Kingdom is among the world leaders in exports of rice, sugar, seafood, fruits and vegetables and other commodities. Exports of processed foods are also performing well and growing.

“Thailand’s government vision in making Thailand the ‘Kitchen of the World’ has led to significant investment in the development of complete supply chains for food logistics,” Ken Research said.

Cold chain logistics are crucial to a thriving food industry, both domestically and for export, as most foods are perishable. The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations has said that globally as much as 30 percent of all food grown or produced never reaches markets because of spoilage. The solution, the organization said, is greater development of cold storage facilities and cold chain logistics systems.

“The impending [entry] of Thailand in the Trans-Pacific Partnership is expected to facilitate goods flow into and out of Thailand especially seafood and agricultural products, which will enhance the demand for cold storage in the country,” Ken Research said.

“Major players in cold chain logistics are preparing for this expected increase in demand by expanding their capacity,” the firm added.