Sunday, November 1, 2009

PTP building up hinterland cargo volume

Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP), the country’s premier transhipment terminal, is working towards increasing hinterland cargo volume to achieve a more sustainable business model, says chief executive officer Captain Ismail Hashim.

On average, PTP now handled 95% transhipment and 5% hinterland cargo, he said.

“We feel that we have to strike a better balance to achieve a more sustainable business model,” he told StarBiz via e-mail.

Development in Iskandar Malaysia, which included logistics, would in turn support hinterland cargo growth, he said.

An aerial view of Port of Tanjung Pelepas.The port now has 12 berths and a terminal handling capacity of 10 million TEUs per year.

“In this respect, PTP, along with its sister companies Johor Port and Senai Airport, will play complementing roles to further strengthen the logistics sector in Johor.

“The presence of strong logistics infrastructure in Iskandar Malaysia and Johor will attract investors, manufacturers and industries that are looking for strong and efficient logistics backbone,” Ismail said.

This would result in an increase in Johor’s hinterland volume, he added.

PTP’s 1,000-acre free-zone land has also been successful in attracting brands, contributing to the hinterland volume of PTP.

“Companies which are already rooted in Pelepas Free Zone include Ciba Vision, Flextronics, BMW, JST as well as logistics players such as Maersk Logistics, Nagai Nitto, Schenker Logistics and Century Logistics.

“We are continuously marketing the free-zone land to attract more players,” Ismail said.

The port’s aims to quadruple its volume in the next 20 years augurs well for hinterland cargo.

Ismail said in line with the expected increase in volume and its long-term goal, PTP would have to expand its port infrastructure.

“Some of the factors that shipping lines look for when deciding on a port of call is the accessibility to the port, operational efficiency and capability to handle current and future volumes (scalability).

“In the case of PTP, we belief we will be able to achieve this due to the value propositions that we have to offer,” he said.

PTP currently has 12 berths and a terminal-handling capacity of 10 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) per annum.

Ismail said it had the space and potential to build up to 95 berths with a terminal-handling capacity of more than 100 million TEUs.

PTP handled about 5.6 million TEUs last year.

On the current business environment, Ismail said it had been very challenging for all port operators globally due to the economic downturn.

“However, PTP has shown outstanding performance in weathering this stormy condition, especially in the second half of the year,” he said.

He noted that PTP registered a 3.4% increase in volume as at September compared with the same period last year.

“Despite the downturn, we expect to see some growth this year via the new services introduced through our existing and new customers such as CMA CGM,” he said.

Source: StarBiz

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