Seatrade Maritime is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Malaysia urged to grow import – export container volumes

Malaysia urged to grow import – export container volumes
Malaysia's port authorities are starting to react to the rapid developments in the Southeast Asian ports space by expediting a national port study that is already six months late, local reports said.

The ongoing study has already found that Malaysia needs to enhance efficiency and reduce cost through economies of scale as it warily eyes developments in Singapore where the recently launched Tuas mega port project will eventually have a capacity to handle 65m teu.

“The economic council is looking into this matter on how to help the local port operators compete effectively against Singapore’s move. One option is to allow the domestic ports to increase their capacity so that they can achieve economies of scale,” said an official.

The initial findings from Hong Kong-based consultants ICF International, that is helping the World Bank in its national port study is that the country needs to boost its hinterland traffic. While Malaysia has been successful in capturing increasing amounts of transhipment container volumes, consistently gaining share from Singapore since 2004, it has been comparatively less successful in promoting growth in hinterland (import-export) container and bulk volumes, particularly outside of the primary Port Klang complex.

ICF noted that international competition for port market share has intensified across Southeast Asia, not only in traditional powerhouses like Singapore and Hong Kong, but in emerging, aspiring hubs like Vietnam and Indonesia that also have hinterlands that attract manufacturing and other import-export activity.

The national port study with recommendations was supposed to have been completed in the first quarter of this year but has been delayed.