Penang port needs a month to solve woes

3,000 ground slots will be ready in container terminal by then

GEORGE TOWN: Penang Port Sdn Bhd (PPSB) needs one month to solve the congestion problems at the North Butterworth Container Terminal (NBCT) as the new decking area with 3,000 ground slots will only be ready by then.

Penang Port Commission (PPC) chairman Tan Cheng Liang told a press conference that all the port users had agreed to wait till next month for PPSB to solve the congestion problems.

Also present were PPC general manager Noor Ariff Yusoff, PPSB chief operating officer Azlan Hamid, and the Association of Malaysian Hauliers northern region chairman R. Amaippan.

“PPSB has also identified certain key problems to be resolved to hasten the flow of cargo delivery. These entail the opening of all the four entrance gates during meal hours and improving the scanning of container cargo to speed up cargo delivery,” Tan said.

Tan spoke following a meeting with port users including hauliers, exporters, forwarders, and representatives from the transport and international trade and industry ministries.

“When the additional 3,000 ground slots at the new decking area are ready next month, PPSB will open the window frame for cargo delivery back to five days,” she said.

Due to congestion at the NBCT container yard, the window for cargo delivery was shortened to 1½ days three months ago.

Last month, StarBiz reported that 20 container haulage companies in the northern region were losing about RM18mil a month in “opportunity cost” because of the shorter window frame to deliver container cargo for export.

On Saturday, Amaippan advised customers to use Port Klang, and subsequently Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng had also called for outside expertise to be brought in to assist PPC and PPPSB.

Tan said Lim should quickly give out land titles to PPC for four plots of land so that they could be used to ease congestion at the NBCT and for use by the Penang International Cruise Terminal (PICT).

“We have submitted applications for the land titles.

“Two plots of land are for use at the NBCT while the other two are for use by PICT,” Tan said.

“One plot of about 26ha has been designated for use as a container yard at the NBCT. This container yard has 4,200 ground slots to accommodate cargo.

“Another plot is for a bridge at the NBCT to facilitate cargo movement from the container yard to the decking area,” she said.


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