1.25 million ft sq

gross floor area


project site


delivery within Malaysia

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The challenge

Online shopping has drastically changed consumer behavior. Gone are the days when shoppers were willing to wait for a long time to receive items they ordered. As such, providing fast and reliable delivery has become essential for businesses, in terms of maintaining consumer satisfaction. To meet this increasing demand for faster shipping, Malaysia Airport’s Aeropolis and China’s Alibaba Group launched the Cainiao Aeropolis eWTP Hub development, the first electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP) outside of China.


    One of the main challenges in the project is the difference in construction standards and building regulations between China and Malaysia. Client requirements and design briefs had to be adapted to comply with Malaysian regulations, and consistency of such adaption had to be maintained throughout the whole project life cycle. As the appointed project lead by Cainiao KLIA and Aeropolis, Arcadis needed to navigate through the project’s complexities from design conceptualization to handover.


    This difference is notable in the main contractor’s way of working as well. The learning curve required by the main contractor in adapting to Malaysian construction standards created additional challenges for the construction schedule and quality of the work delivered, which Arcadis needed to mitigate through stringent supervision and management of construction processes.

The solution

Arcadis’s scope of work included project management, quantity surveying and construction management. Our team also led the process of securing a certificate of completion and compliance as proof that the facility is well-built and safe for occupation. Addressing the contrasting standards and regulations created a lot of concerns, but we were successful in pushing forward with a plan. The team acted as the main coordinator between all parties — the client, Malaysian airport authorities, the main contractor and subcontractors, as well as the consultants and vendors.


    Since the project required items that had to be procured early to have enough lead time for delivery, we identified possible risks to avoid any impact on resource availability and the project’s completion. Our team also developed a master program that highlighted milestones at every phase, which allowed us to better manage the schedules while hitting the design needs within budget. It was a massive undertaking, but through hard work and a meticulous eye for detail, the team managed to pull through.

The impact

Today, Cainiao Aeropolis eWTP Hub is making it possible for consumers in Malaysia to receive items within a 24-hour delivery window, while consumers outside of Malaysia can count on a 72-hour delivery window. With its strategic location, the hub provides merchants with easier distribution access to all major cities in Southeast Asia. As a result, business owners now have better delivery options and can reach more customers across the globe.


    The new logistics hub occupies 60 acres of land and features three sorting centers, an operation center and a customs house. With a gross floor area of 1.25 million ft2, the hub also provides secure and functional areas, including a bus stop, a guardhouse and a garbage collection center, to promote a positive work environment for its people.


    The project’s success has not only positioned Arcadis as a trusted partner for clients in the region but also improved Malaysia’s status as a logistics hub for the growing e-commerce market in Southeast Asia.

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