Penang Port returns fire at shipping lines


Penang Port Sdn Bhd (PPSB) is throwing the ball back into the court of international shipping lines who have slammed the terminal operator for not penalising shippers that overload their cargo containers on a vessel.

PPSB chief executive officer Datuk Ahmad Ibnihajar said it was based on the appeals made by shipping lines to allow overloaded vessels into the port that resulted in no enforcement made to date.

“It’s the members of the International Ship Owners’ Association of Malaysia (ISOA) themselves who have been appealing to us and now they are blaming us for not penalising the offending shippers,” he told Business Times.

Ahmad was responding to a Business Times report where international container shipping lines operating at Penang Port slammed the terminal operator for not penalising shippers who overload their cargo containers on a vessel, saying it could lead to an accident.

ISOA secretary Fong Keng Lun said requests for enforcement have been sent to PPSB as early as June last year, but so far the calls have gone unheeded.

Ahmad said PPSB will be calling a meeting of all its users soon and ask them to decide whether they want enforcement to take effect immediately.

“The ISOA members can decide if they want us to ignore their previous appeal and support the rule that any overweight containers detected by us be not allowed to be loaded onto the vessels,” he added.

Fong had claimed that ISOA had sent repeated requests to PPSB to impose the rule that any overweight containers detected by the terminal operator will not be allowed to be loaded onto the vessels.

He said apart from the risks to human lives and the transportation operators’ equipment, some of the overweight containers were subsequently detected at transshipment ports like Hong Kong and were held back until the shipping lines had repacked the overweight containers.

The maximum permissible weight of a 20-foot container is 24 tonnes, 30.48 tonnes for a 40-foot container and up to 32 tonnes for a new-generation 40-foot container.

By : Marina Emmanuel

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