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Shippers moot Kota Kinabalu as transhipment hub

The Federation of Sabah Industries has suggested that Kota Kinabalu should be developed as yet another transhipment hub besides Port Klang to alleviate high shipping and logistics costs to the Malaysian state across the South China Sea from Peninsular Malaysia.

Local reports cited the body as saying in a memorandum to the government that the move would provide economic spillover effects for Peninsular Malaysia and the national economy. 

The federation's deputy president Mohd Basri Abd Gafar said Sabah has suffered from high shipping and logistics costs over the past decade, making locally-made products uncompetitive both in the local and international markets.

“Not only does the industries suffer as a result of the high costs, consumers in Sabah have also been absorbing these costs.”

Sabah boxes now have to be transhipped via Port Klang and the shippers have to pay for the return journey.

Sepangar Port is ideally located to handle transhipment for Far East trades, being closer to China, Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, Australia and other emerging regional economies.

Mohd Basri also pointed out that Kota Kinabalu could be the gateway port for the BIMP-EAGA (Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asean Growth Area) region, with its market of 60m consumers.

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