Monday, March 29, 2010

Northport Expects Cargo Volume To Increase 10-15 Per Cent

NCB Holdings Bhd's direct subsidiary, Northport (Malaysia) Bhd, is expected to register an increased cargo volume of between 10 per cent and 15 per cent this year.

Northport Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Basheer Hassan said the company sees an increase in both the container and cargo business segments amid an improving economy.

"Northport registered a total volume of 2.858 million TEUs in 2009, a decrease of five per cent compared to 3.006 million previously," Basheer told reporters after NCB Holdings' annual general meeting (AGM), here Monday.

He said the container mix at Northport stood at 50 per cent for both import and export containers.

Transshipment containers made up 38.6 per cent of the total volumed handled by Northport.

Under the conventional cargo business, Northport handled a combined volume of 6.53 million freight weight tonnes (FWT) last year.

Meanwhile, NCB Holdings Group's chairman, Tun Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid said Northport continued to be the leading gateway for indigenous trade, handling 58.6 per cent of the country's import and export volume passing through Port Klang.

He said the total volume of containers under all classes handled through Port Klang during 2009 was 7,309,779 TEUs, reflecting a decline of 8.3 per cent compared with 7,973,579 TEUs recorded in 2008.

On the planned construction of Wharf 8A, Ahmad Sarji said the group remained ready to re-activate the plan.

It would be to meet its customers' demand for enhanced capacity to service their growth in business.

"Given the current growth, we are quite optimistic that we need to expand the capacity. This was held back in 2009 in the last quarter because of economic downturn."

With the indication of growth now, it would be sustainable to invest, said Basheer.

He said Northport will call for tender in one or two weeks for building of the wharf.

The size of the wharf will be 300 meters in length and 17 meters in depth.

This will allow ships to berth at any one time there, he added.

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