Westports posts healthy volume growth in Q1

Malaysia’s leading port, Westports Malaysia Sdn Bhd, posted a healthy 27 per cent surge in its container volume for the first quarter of this year compared with the corresponding period of last year

Improvements were seen in both performance and productivity, especially in container operations, Westports said in a statement.

Westports container throughput was 1.244 million TEUs compared with 981,000 TEUs in the first quarter of 2009.

Local volume increased by 24 per cent while transshipment was up by 22 per cent.

“If we compare our first quarter figures with that of 2008, which had a stronger performance compared with the slower and weaker 2009, we have actually grown by 7 per cent and this puts us on a stronger platform to achieve 5.2 million TEUs for 2010,” said Westports executive director Ruben Emir Gnanalingam in the statement.

Westports recorded a container volume of 1.166 million TEUs in the first quarter of 2008.

“Looking forward, the outlook for 2010 will be generally better than in 2009. There has been an uptrend in Westports’ throughput in past months and that could well be extended into the rest of the year,” Ruben said.

Most encouraging was the growth of local boxes, which saw Westports market share in Port Klang rising to 44 per cent while that for transshipment growth was retained at 71 per cent.

Overall, Westports commanded a market share of 61 per cent in Port Klang.

A significant development in Q1 was the new world benchmark for productivity recently.

“Westports’ operations team yet again showed its dexterity and skills in container handling when it managed to hit crane productivity of 734 moves in a single hour of operations with nine-crane deployment, erasing the earlier mark of 665 mph done on a CMA vessel in 2008,” the statement said.

This feat was performed on March 9 while working on CSCL Pusan, a 9,600-TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit) vessel belonging to China Shipping.

A total of 5,244 moves were achieved on this vessel, which sails on the AEX 7 service (eastbound).

The productivity achieved over such a large volume of moves across the vessel continues to boost the port’s status as the World’s Best 5 for Productivity and a leading mega transshipment hub in the region.

On port expansion works, Ruben said: “We will build a new 300m wharf when we hit 450,000 TEUs consecutively for three months.

“This would be followed by the acquisition of additional equipment and manpower. Our current capacity is 7.2 million TEUs.” – Bernama

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