The Port Klang Authority (PKA) has taken several steps to overcome container and ship congestion in Port Klang which has been occurring since November last year.
PKA chairman Datuk Chong Sin Woon said the measures were decided in a meeting between PKA and the Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services Department (MAQIS), the Royal Malaysian Customs Department (RMCD) and retailers and industry players on Dec 28.
The meeting was chaired by Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong, he added.
"Among the measures put in place since Dec 28 are for private port operator Westports Malaysia Sdn Bhd to create additional container storage space, including cold cargo containers (reefer), with electricity supply facilities.
“Also, effective Jan 1, the consignee is instructed to speed up the container collection process within 24 hours after the gate pass is issued, so that more containers with waiting status can be checked, as well as the withdrawal of additional free storage time for container storage,” Chong said in a statement today.
He added that to reduce container dumping, the sales of special services charge was also exempted if the status of empty containers for export located in the port yard is changed to local use.
Chong said the RMCD had also increased the number of its staff to facilitate related matters as well as provide special counters to process reefer containers and perishable goods, while MAQIS had also increased the number of its workers to expedite inspections.
Meanwhile, he said the PKA had reached an agreement with shipping companies to ensure that ships continue to stop at Port Klang by providing adequate slots for export containers from the port, as well as arranging "main line" or "feeder" services to bring out transshipment containers which have been kept long in the yard.
With this move, Chong said PKA was confident that with the close cooperation of all stakeholders and government agencies, the problem of congestion in Port Klang can be solved by the middle of this month.
Meanwhile, he said that Port Klang recorded a decrease in container handling by 2.5% or 13.2 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) last year, compared with 13.5 million TEUs in 2019.
The decline was due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, when trade demand was weak due to the implementation of the Movement Control Order and the closure of national borders.
However, the import container throughput recorded a growth of 0.4% or 2.55 million TEUs last year, compared with 2.54 million TEUs in 2019, he added.
"Total export container handling saw a growth of 3.2% or 2.56 million TEUs last year, compared with 2.48 million TEUs in 2019.
"In terms of transshipment volume, Port Klang handled 8.11 million TEUs last year, down five per cent, from 8.54 million TEUs in 2019," he said.
Chong said for this year, following the expected economic growth driven by continued export activity and increased momentum in consumption and investment, PKA is targeting Port Klang to handle 13.5 million TEUs with a potential increase of 2.3% in total container handling.