Sunday, June 14, 2009

Shipping agencies take steps to cope with slowdown

Shipping agencies in Port Klang have recorded 30% to 40% drop in volume year-to-date against last year and are implementing strategies to continue doing business under the current weak market.

“As with any other industries, shipping agencies are also affected by the global economic downturn as we are directly impacted by the plunge in demand of goods,” Central Region Shipping Association (CRSA) president Abu Bakar Hussein said.

He was speaking to StarBiz at a CRSA event, An Evening of Fellowship with The Shipping Industry, recently.

Abu Bakar said that to stay afloat in the prevailing market condition, CRSA members had adopted strategies such as reducing costs and increasing productivity, and most had come up with contingency plans to ensure their survival.

“Unfortunately a small percentage of our members had to cease operations,” he said, adding that human resources remained the biggest costs.

Abu Bakar said it was difficult to predict what would happen, going forward. “The same people that predicted the gloom and doom of the industry a few months ago are now giving a positive outlook,’’ he said. “According to some reports, the industry has to remain prudent in the next two to three years.”

But most importantly, he said, the industry had to maintain its efficiency to continue to attract investors and shipping companies to Malaysia.

“Basically, our principals (shipping firms) are looking at efficiency because they also want to reduce costs,” he said.

The CRSA event saw about 18 people from the shipping and related industries being recognised for their contribution to the industry. A special recognition award was given to Selangor Customs director Datuk Roslan Mohd Yusof.

Source: StarBiz

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