Penang Port Sdn Bhd expects the North Butterworth Container Terminal (NBCT) — which was gazetted as a free commercial zone (FCZ) effective Feb 1, 2021 — will achieve transhipment throughput of 50,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) this year.
Transhipment, which is the shipment of goods or containers to an intermediate destination before being taken to another destination, would be one of the most impactful activity after the gazettement of NBCT as a FCZ.
Chief executive officer V Sasedharan said Penang Port would leverage the FCZ status to reach greater heights as it would enable the port to be one of the focal points for shipping and transhipment activities.
“The transhipment activity from the Bay of Bengal to Penang Port is one of the most lucrative opportunities identified by Penang Port.
“In the year 2020, the Bay of Bengal throughput volume was estimated to be around 8.1 million TEUs. Soon, Penang Port plans to link up feeder operators in the Bay of Bengal with mainline operators,” he told a press conference here after witnessing NBCT receiving the first transhipment from Evergreen Marine Corp (Ever Chant).
Also present were Penang Port Commission chairman Datuk Tan Teik Cheng and general manager Monaliza Suhaimi.
Sasedharan said Penang Port’s strategic location enabled transhipment activities from the Bay of Bengal before Port Klang, adding that the port had an added advantage as it would be the first port to be contacted whenever any shipping lines enter the Straits of Malacca.
He said the 223 TEUs transhipment from Ever Chant today marked the start of a new chapter as Penang Port would also cater for value-added activities such as high-tech warehousing, thus spearheading positive economic growth in the northern region of Malaysia.
To spur transhipment activity in the port, he said the port would offer various monetary incentives for shipping companies, including storage and special rates for handling.