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Sabah port aims to be transhipment hub for Malaysia's east region

Sabah port aims to be transhipment hub for Malaysia's east region
Malaysia's Sabah state is having greater ambitions, with local media reporting that there has been a proposal to upgrade its Sepanggar Bay Container Port to become the Transhipment Hub of the East by 2030.

Reports quoted Sabah deputy chief minister Joseph Pairin Kitingan as saying Sabah Port Authority (SPA), which made the proposal, wanted to even the balance between exports and imports at the port. Making up some 80% of volume, imports currently dominate activity at the port.

“The imbalance is the main reason for the shipping cost to send cargo or container to Sabah where shipowners must consider the return cost in determining the container delivery cost to Sabah.

“High shipping cost is the main reason for the cost of living and cost of doing business (that is high) in Sabah,” Pairin said. He added that SPA and port operator Sabah Port Sdn Bhd had presented an application to the federal government for the project, worth MYR1.5b ($405.4m), to be included in the budget for the 11th Malaysia Plan.

Pairin who is also Sabah Infrastructure Development Minister said a study related to the proposal costing MYR200,000 was being undertaken and was expected to be completed this month.