The congestion problem at the North Butterworth Container Terminal (NBCT) will be resolved by next month when an additional 3,000 ground slots at its container yard is ready for stacking cargo.
Penang Port Commission (PPC) general manager Noor Ariff Yusoff said the additional slots were part of the phase three expansion programme at the NBCT.
“The cargo handled at the NBCT had increased by 27.3% in the first half of 2010, compared to the corresponding period of 2009. This is why there is congestion,” he said.
He was responding to the congestion problem at the NBCT, the Association of Malaysian Hauliers (AMH) R. Amaippan’s advice to customers to use Port Klang, and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s call for outside expertise to be brought in to assist PPC and Penang Port Sdn Bhd (PPSB).
Noor Ariff said PPC and PPSB were now working on collecting the relevant data from all port users to formulate a system for cargo delivery and storage that was agreeable to everyone.
“We will be having a meeting with all the stakeholders on July 28 to come up with a solution for the hauliers that will help them out until next month when the 3,000 additional ground slots are ready,” he said.
PPC chairman Tan Cheng Liang also asked Lim to cooperate to help out with the congestion problem and not politicise the issue in the media.
“The Chief Minister should help out in approving reclamation projects by PPSB, as the state government is in charge of land matters.
“He is diverting attention from problems facing his administration such as the illegal sand mining issue in Balik Pulau,” Tan said.
She said PPSB also wanted to solve the congestion problem soonest, as it has a key performance index to fulfil, which was to achieve handling over one million TEUs (20 ft equivalent units) of cargo this year.
Penang Freight Forwarders Association (PFFA) president Krishnan Chelliah said that PFFA members had already received enquiries from exporters here on the cost of exporting from Port Klang.
“They are also checking out whether by exporting via Port Klang they will meet their shipping deadlines and avoid being penalised by their customers for late deliveries,” he said.