SINGAPORE: Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP), Malaysia’s largest container terminal, is confident of double-digit growth next year despite a challenging economic environment.
“We are expanding under a three-year modernisation plan, which will be completed around May next year,” said chief executive officer Glen Hilton.
PTP is investing RM1.4 billion over three years in a modernisation plan designed to meet the docking requirements of mega-container vessels.
Hilton noted that PTP’s overall capacity, with the first 12 berths, amounted to 8.5 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs).
“Last year, we did 7.7 million TEUs. The market fluctuates up and down but we know we can grow. We have the capacity. With the new berths next year, we expect to record double-digit growth. The future is bright,” he said after welcoming the world’s largest container vessel, the Tripple-E “Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller”, on Sunday.
“Although we are in tough economic times, we will continue to work well with our customers like Maersk Line to attain continued growth.”
The newly built vessel called at PTP, which serves as Maersk Line’s Southeast Asia Transhipment Hub, on its maiden voyage between Far East Asia and Europe.
Being in the transshipment market, Hilton said the majority of the business was from other countries.
“We are in a great position, given PTP’s location in the heart of Asean, which is a growth market.
“We see some impact (of the economic downturn) from countries like Japan and South Korea, but the growth is there,” he explained.
In terms of the local market, Hilton said: “We are seeing a little bit of growth here. We are expecting the market to grow primarily on the back of great global shipping access. This is one of the benefits for the people in Johor and for companies that are importing and exporting goods into Malaysia.
“This is because they have access to bigger ships and the biggest network in the world, right at their front door,” he said, adding that it was also good for the local economy.
When asked on competition, Hilton said: “We have been in the transhipment market and face competition from Singapore.
“We also have competition with Port Klang and another port, which is literally beside us,” he said.
However, he said competition is good.
Saying that each port has its own challenges, including PTP, Hilton said: “We are committed to being the most efficient port in the region and that is our goal and we are very focused on it.”
On new shipping lines, he said: “We always have shipping lines typically for the local market calling at PTP.” Bernama