PPSB moves to boost productivity

Terminal operator Penang Port Sdn Bhd (PPSB) will be roping in 30 additional skilled personnel to handle vital port machinery next year, as part of efforts to boost productivity.

The port now handles an average crane productivity of 25 TEU (20-foot equivalent unit) moves per hour compared with 35 TEU moves per hour by more productive ports.

The new recruitments will handle the port’s seven new post-panamax cranes and work the extended 1.5km berth, which is due to be completed by the middle of next year, said PPSB human resources general manager Tadzaruddin Abd Manaf.

“There will also be training involved as the cranes are specialised equipment that are crucial in speeding up our operations in container services.

“We plan to get this recruitment process started once we have determined our 2011 budget which will cater for our expansion plans at the end of the year,” he told reporters after officiating at the port’s 14th blood donation campaign, which saw the participation of 140 employees, at its office in George Town yesterday. PPSB employs 1,760 people.

The port is currently undergoing expansion plans, which include the extension of the port’s existing 900m wharf to another 600m, and the deepening of the North Channel among others, to increase its productivity as an international port.

Tadzaruddin said the port has spent about RM1.6 billion over the past five years on infrastructure development, mainly for its North Butterworth Container Terminal.

“With improvements to our infrastructure and online system, we expect business to pick up. Last month alone, we handled 96,000 TEUs.

“For this month, things are looking well. Hopefully, by the end of the year we will be able to reach our one million-TEU target, make RM300 million in revenue and move forward in our efforts to join the big leagues like Port Klang that handles four million TEUs a year,” he said.

PPSB handled a total of 958,476 TEUs last year, compared with 929,639 TEUs in 2008.

The port was ranked 64th in the world this year, 36 places above its last year’s position at 100.

Tadzaruddin said PPSB will work towards improving its international ranking, or at least maintain its performance.

“We are on the right track in serving our customers locally and internationally. We are expecting business to increase in 2011,” he said.

By: Looi Sue-Chern

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