PORT Klang handled a record-breaking container volume of 13.64 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) as of 28 December this year, surpassing its record of 13.58 million TEUs in 2019, despite the Covid-19-induced spillover effects of container shortages, port congestions and adverse weather conditions.
Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong said that the government has taken a proactive step to facilitate the Malaysian ports and logistics sector during the pandemic by ensuring that it continued to grow to meet the demands of the domestic and international markets.
“For e-commerce platforms’ consumers, several economic stimulus packages have been introduced to speed up the distribution and delivery process including the launch of a vaccination programme for port and logistics sector workers in June 2021,” Wee said in a statement.
He noted that much of the success is a result of the commitment and concerted efforts of logistics players and government agencies in Port Klang led by the Port Klang Authority.
“Terminal operators in Port Klang, namely Northport and Westport, are handling additional volumes with excellence by optimising available resources and relying on digitisation to overcome various challenges. As of November 2021, total imports recorded a growth of 5.8% compared to the performance in January to November 2020, while exports saw a growth of 4.8% and transhipment increased by 5.6%,” Wee added.
In addition, Port Klang has been tasked to further expand and compete with regional peers such as Singapore which had expanded its port to accommodate a capacity of 65 million TEUs a year.
Although the recent floods have had a significant impact on port operations, Port Klang’s daily container handling volume is expected to reach 13.75 million TEUs by the end of the year — another record achievement since it commenced operations in 1973.
As soon as the lockdown measures were lifted, ports started seeing increased arrival and cargo handling. This happened not just in Malaysia but also across the globe with some ports even facing warehousing issues. Port Klang had reached 13.6million TEUs in 2020 despite Covid-19 and this year the numbers will be higher.
Every year, Port Klang adds 1.5 million TEUs to accommodate the increase in container capacity, but this is still deemed insufficient. Therefore, the ministry has proposed to develop Carey Island as a maritime center by placing a third port there. Currently, an in-depth study is being undertaken for this purpose and the documents is expected to be submitted in 1Q22.
“The outlook for 2022 remains optimistic given Port Klang’s competitive advantage as a leading logistics hub in Asia, its strategic geographical location coupled with the government’s proactive policy which is expected to further strengthen the logistics industry,” said Wee.