Port Klang retains status as busiest container port


Port Klang, comprising Northport and Westports, has retained its title as the country’s busiest container port in the first half of this year, with a 48.3 per cent share of the total number of containers handled by all Malaysian ports.

Its rival, Port of Tanjung Pelepas in Johor, was listed second busiest, handling 35.4 per cent of the country’s total container throughput.

Port Klang moved 4.31 million TEUs (20-foot equivalent units) of cargo in the January-June 2010 period, up 29.3 per cent from 3.33 million TEUs a year earlier, as the global economic recovery boosted cargo traffic, said Port Klang Authority (PKA) general manager Kee Lian Yong.

It handled 856,110 TEUs of exports, up 25.8 per cent from a year earlier, and the volume of imports rose 18.2 per cent to 828,082 TEUs. Transshipment volume rose 34.5 per cent to 2.62 million TEUs.

Kee said Westports led the way in the first half of 2010 with a 30 per cent increase in container volume from the same period in 2009, handling 2.65 million TEUs, while Northport saw a 28 per cent increase to 1.66 million TEUs last year.

“We are on track to achieve our stretch target of 8.4 million TEUs for the whole year, where Westports is projected to handle 5.2 million TEUs and Northport 3.2 million TEUs. The fourth quarter is traditionally the busiest quarter of the year,” Kee told Business Times in an interview.

Port Klang moved 7.31 million TEUs last year, a decline of 8.3 per cent compared with 7.97 million TEUs recorded in 2008.

“The projection for 2011 is a growth of 10 to 12 per cent in container volume (from 2010),” said Kee.

Meanwhile, in terms of tonnage handled, traffic through Port Klang in the first five months (January-May) of this year increased by 36.8 per cent to 65.54 million tonnes from 47.90 million tonnes a year earlier.

“PKA and the two terminal operators (Northport and Westports) took this time of slow-paced economy and downturn to reshape our strategies. These strategies have hastened and increased our growth even more so with the global economic recovery as can be seen by our growth percentage for the first half of 2010,” said Kee.

He added that the port authority is aware that emerging ports in Asia such as Vietnam and Sri Lanka pose stiff competition to Port Klang.

“In order for us to be competitive, we are constantly looking at our operations to ensure (we offer) effective and efficient service, are service oriented, and have cost-effective operations and a commercial competitive environment,” he said.

By: Kang Siew Li

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