Friday, January 21, 2011

CMA-CGM hopes for a repeat performance

The CMA-CGM Group expects to grow its container volume in Port Klang between 12 per cent and 13 per cent again this year, if everything goes reasonably well.

"It's very difficult to predict. We don't want to be too optimistic and tempt fate, because there is still a lot of uncertainties in the European and US economy but we think with the good recovery last year we can continue," CMA-CGM & ANL Malaysia managing director Simon Whitelaw told reporters during an appreciation lunch to mark CMA-CGM's for breaching 2 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in Port Klang.

CMA-CGM registered between 12 and 13 per cent growth in container volume in Port Klang in 2010, due to good growth in transshipment as well as local cargo.

Last year the company contributed about 26 per cent to Port Klang's overall throughput volume. 

Local cargo makes up about 10 - 12 per cent of the cargo CMA-CGM handles while the remainder is from transfer of containers and transshipment.

Whitelaw said however that the fourth quarter of 2010 saw some softening in cargo movement, as China's consumer demand eased off.

"The fourth quarter was definitely softening a little bit partly because business tailed off, and China was not the big consumer demand everyone was expecting. Fourth quarter was a little bit softer from the third quarter," Whitelaw said.

CMA-CGM started out in Port Klang in 1998, handling some 20,000 TEUs.

Meanwhile Port Klang Authority chairman Datuk Lee Hwa Beng said he is confident that the port would be able to at least maintain its world ranking of the previous year. Port Klang was ranked 13th in the world's busiest container port in 2009.

"We improved by 21 per cent last year, we still don't know the world ranking for 2010 but we expect to at least maintain it. I don't think many ports in the world have seen such a large jump," Lee said.

Port Klang, which comprises Westports and Northport, recorded a 21 per cent rise in container volume in 2010, to 8.9 million TEUs.

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