Despite doom-and-gloom forecasts in Asia, freight forwarder and logistics firm U-Freight will continue with expansion plans in Hong Kong and Malaysia, as well as setting up more stations in Europe and South America. Managing director Anthony Fong said the group expected revenue this year to be down 5 per cent from last year, due mainly to the Asian economic crisis. This was because intra-Asia trade - which contributed about 30 per cent of its revenue - was 'almost dead' and airlines also had trimmed Asian flights. 'I have no answers [about next year] and cannot say what is going to happen,' Mr Fong said. In Hong Kong, the group is looking at establishing a good warehouse facility, probably at Tsuen Wan half way between the airport and the mainland. U-Freight planned to invest between $30 million and $40 million in the project, which it expected would provide 30,000-55,000 square feet of space. Mr Fong blamed the cargo chaos at Chek Lap Kok for a $1 million loss in July, a month in which he said the group normally would have made profits. It had been forced to service its regular customers by channelling cargo through Shenzhen or Macau, and absorbing the charges. He said U-Freight five years ago had proposed to the Hong Kong Association of Freight Forwarding Agents that it speak out to the Government about the urgent need for a city cargo facility to assist freight forwarders because the airport was too far from the city. Unfortunately, the voice had been too weak and the proposal had gone unheeded. A city-centre facility would help forwarders cut costs and also reduce pollution from transporting small consignments. U-Freight also was seeking a suitable site for a warehouse in the Penang Free Trade Zone in west Malaysia, he said. The group had rejected a site offered by the Penang Development Corp because it was outside the zone. U-Freight, which already has an elevated warehouse in Shanghai to protect cargo against flooding, is seeking a site in the Pudong area for another warehouse. The facility is to be completed within three years. Mr Fong said directors had decided to set up North American stations in Vancouver, Portland and Atlanta. 'We are entering into a contract with a domestic trucker in the United States so that we can get more tonnage,' he said, adding that the trucker would transport cargo to its international gateway cities in the US. Mr Fong said Traxon, the service provider for airlines, would soon be marketing U-Freight's software - called Airfreight Architecture System - to help freight forwarders communicate directly with Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals.