Port confident of achieving 8% growth this year
GELANG PATAH: Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP) expects a healthy and sustainable growth this year despite operating in a challenging business environment.
The positive outlook is based on the port’s outstanding performance in the first half of 2010 when it registered 13% growth compared with the same period the previous year.
In May this year, its monthly throughput volume stood at 572,444 20-ft equivalent units (TEUs), the highest ever handled in a single month since it started operations 10 years ago.
Prior to that, the highest number of containers handled in a single month was 557,693 TEUs in August 2009.
“We managed to increase the number of containers handled and achieved the highest growth among the world’s top 20 container ports in 2009,” an official from PTP told StarBiz.
He said the achievement was commendable despite last year’s sluggish economy, which saw a drastic downturn in the containerised traffic sector worldwide.
Industry reports have listed only four of the world’s top 20 container ports that recorded growth in 2009, and all of them are in the region.
The four ports were PTP, which recorded 2.4% growth, and three Chinese ports – Qingdao (2.4%), Tianjin (2.3%) and Guangzhou (1.7%). Other heavyweights such as Singapore’s PSA experienced a drop of 13.5%, Hong Kong down by 14.3% and Shanghai by 10.7%.
The International Monetary Fund said in a report recently that the global economy was recovering better than expected but at varying speeds.
While most of the emerging and developing countries are experiencing steady growth, the growth in developed countries is not that impressive.
The United States and European economies are beginning to see a dip and the current downtrend in global container traffic would continue until the year-end.
“But we are confident that PTP will record 6.5 million TEUs this year, representing 8% growth from six million TEUs handled in 2009,” the official said.
He added that PTP would maintain its efficient services and provide top-notch services at competitive cost to clients.
Crane moves at the port now averaged 34 to 35 per hour, which is way higher than the industry average of 28 moves per hour.
He said PTP handled close to 80 vessel calls a week and with the current berths and 44 quay cranes, the port could handle up to nine million TEUs.