Sunday, November 22, 2009

PORT OF TANJUNG PELEPAS BRACES FOR NEW CHALLENGE


Port of Tanjung Pelepas braces for new challenge

Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP) sees 2010 and 2011 as the most challenging years for growth as the global economy should enter a recovery period after almost a year of recession.

Chief executive officer Capt Ismail Hashim said PTP is like any other port in the world and depended on the global trade activities and volumes.

He said in the last 12 months or so, all port operators had been operating in a very challenging business environment due to the economic downturn.

He said in September and October, PTP registered a 3.4% and 5% increase in volume respectively compared with the same months last year.

Ismail said the port handled 4.9 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) in the first 10 months of the year and was confident of recording 6 million TEUs in 2009 against 5.6 million TEUs in 2008.

He said last year, PTP had captured 8% of South-East Asia’s total port market and expected to increase the market share to 10% this year.

Although there were already indications the global economy was on the road to recovery based on the economic figures released from the United States and Japan, it was still too early to rejoice, he said, adding that there were 10% reductions in the total global container throughput in the last one year and the outlook for 2010 was not that rosy as it was still uncertain where the global economy would be heading.

“We handle 95% transhipment and 5% hinterland or local cargo and want to increase the latter to 20% in our short- to medium-term business plan,” Ismail added.

He said the logistics sector, one of the five existing economic pillars in Iskandar Malaysia, was being developed and strengthened under the Iskandar Comprehensive Develop-ment Plan from 2006 until 2025.

The other four pillars are electrical and electronics, petrochemical and oleochemical, food and agro-processing and tourism.

The five existing core sectors are health services, educational services, financial services, ICT and creative industries.

Ismail said the development and presence of strong logistics infrastructure in Iskandar would attract investors, industries and manufacturers which in turn would benefit service providers such as PTP.

PTP, together
with Johor Port and Senai Airport which are closely linked to business tycoon Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhari, would be among the beneficiaries as these entities are located within the five flagship development zones in Iskandar.

“Apart from Iskandar, the Singapore factor will also benefit us by attracting haulers from there to PTP.”

He said PTP would expand its port infrastructure in line with the expected increase and long-term goal and two new berths would be added under its phase two expansion plan.

Ismail said the port would be calling for tender early next year to build the 13th and 14th berths. Work on them should start in the third quarter of 2010 and it would take 18 months to complete.

PTP currently has 12 berths and a terminal-handling capacity of 10 million TEUs.

He said under the phase three expans
ion plan, the port would build eight new berths and include land reclamation and dredging.

“We are looking at organic growth and our long-term plan is to have 95 berths where our capacity will reach 150 million TEUs,” said Ismail.

He said PTP’s 404.68ha Pelepas Free Zone (PFZ) had 50 clients now with an average warehousing occupancy rate of 68%.

Companies with a presence in the PFZ include CIBA Vision, Flextronics, BMW, JST, Maersk Logistics, Nagai Nitto, Schenker Logistics and Century Logistics.


Source: STAR BUSINESS

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