But for the whole of 2009, NBCT was expected to post a slight drop of about 5.5% in cargo volume from last year’s 929,000 TEUs (20ft equivalent unit), he said.
The volume handled in the second quarter was 223,372 TEUs, compared with 199,391 TEUs in the first quarter.
Despite the quarter-on-quarter increase in the second quarter, there was a 10% decrease in the cargo handled at NBCT to 422,763 TEUs in the first half this year against a year earlier, according to Obaid.
“The increase in cargo activity in the second quarter was due to outgoing and incoming cargo such as electrical products, furniture, palm-oil based products, high-technology glass used for the solar industry, and rubberwood.
“We expect more raw materials to be imported from United States and Germany in the third and fourth quarters to support the solar industry in the northern region.
“The third and fourth quarters should see a 10% increase in the volume of cargo handled,” he said.
The pick-up in cargo volumes at NBCT was a genuine indication that the Asean region was recovering as the port in Penang was not used for transhipment of goods, Obaid said.
“The cargo handled here is not on transit to other parts of the world. It is imported and exported to meet the economic needs and activities in the northern region and neighbouring countries,” he said.