Container traffic up in first 10 months

Malaysian ports handled 16.6 per cent more containers in the first 10 months of this year compared with the same period in 2009, reflecting a recovery in both domestic and transhipment cargo.

Container traffic at the 11 major ports rose to 15.3 million TEUs (20-foot equivalent units) from 13.1 million in the periods reviewed.

In a statement, Transport Minister Kong Cho Ha said transhipment traffic was up 17 per cent. Transhipment cargo is that which arrives in the country and is transferred to another ship before continuing to its final destination.

Export containers showed a 17.6 per cent increase, while import traffic rose 14.1 per cent.

Port Klang, comprising Northport and Westports, solidified its position as the busiest container port in the country, with nearly half or 48.5 per cent share of the total number of containers handled by all Malaysian ports.

Its container throughput rose 24.8 per cent in the January-October 2010 period compared with the same period in 2009.

It moved 7.43 million TEUs against 5.95 million TEUs before.

More than half or 61.7 per cent of Port Klang’s container volume was from Westports, which generated 4.58 million TEUs. Northport accounted for the remaining 38.3 per cent or 2.85 million 20-foot equivalent units.

The Port of Tanjung Pelepas in Johor continued to be the second largest container port, handling 35.2 per cent of the country’s total throughput in the period.

Its container throughput rose 8.8 per cent to 5.38 million TEUs against 4.95 million TEUs before.

Kong said since container throughput in every Malaysia’s port was growing, his ministry was confident that the total throughput will reach 18.4 million TEUs by year-end.

Earlier this year, the total container throughput of Malaysian ports was projected to be 17.7 million TEUs for 2010, but the figure was later revised upwards following the better-than-expected performance in the last few months.

The country’s ports handled 16 million TEUs in 2009.

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