Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Port Klang sees 10% fall in volume

Port Klang, the national maritime gateway for Malaysia, projects a 10% fall in cargo volume due to the bleak outlook for the economy this year.

Port Klang Authority (PKA) general manager Lim Thean Shiang said both port operators, Northport and Westports, started to feel the contraction in volume last month with a 16% drop in cargo volume against the same month in 2008.

“In an effort to cultivate and sustain the port business this year, especially import and export activities, PKA has decided on a blanket waiver for those who have difficulties in adhering to the three-day container free storage period at the port,” he told a press conference yesterday.

Port Klang previously had a five-day free storage period but this was cut to three days effective Jan 1.

Lim said the continuation of the waiver would be reviewed in July based on the economic climate then.

Lim Thean Shiang

“But, the Port Klang community must continue to upgrade their efficiencies to operate under the three-day free storage period when the economy revives,” he said.

Additionally, PKA will also continue the feeder incentive scheme by April but with a new pre-qualification criteria.

The feeder incentive is given to feeder operators that help bring cargo to Port Klang from other places in the region.

The incentive was frozen in October for PKA to re-study its contribution to the cargo growth at Port Klang.

A total sum of RM37mil in incentive had been given to feeder operators since 10 years ago.

On Port Klang’s performance, Lim said it had recorded a 12% increase in cargo volume to 7.97 million 20-ft equivalent units (TEUs) last year from 7.11 million TEUs in 2007.

“This achievement has propelled Port Klang to be ranked the 15th-busiest port of the world in terms of volume last year from number 16 the previous year,” he said.

Source: Star Online

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