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Malaysia’s seaports end 2021 on a high, hit new milestones

PETALING JAYA: 2021 ended on a high note for Malaysia’s seaports with several new milestones achieved.

The Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP) in Johor became the first container terminal in Malaysia to surpass 11 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) throughput volume in a year, further strengthening its position as one of the top 15 ports globally.

Port Klang’s Westport and Northport also made history when they achieved 13.64 million TEU, surpassing 2019’s record of 13.58 million TEU.

PTP’s feat was recorded on Dec 25 while Port Klang’s was on Dec 28, during the loading process.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong revealed the final volume that PTP subsequently registered 11.2 million TEU at end of 2021, representing an increase of 14% growth in its yearly volume as compared to 9.8 million TEU in 2020.

He said Port Klang managed to hit a total volume of 13.74 million TEU all in for 2021.

“This was despite the many challenges of Covid-19 as well as the spillover effects of container shortages, port congestions and most recently, adverse weather conditions.

“We are proud of the historic achievements and the ministry will continue to support our ports in gearing up to meet new challenges and achieve even more in 2022,” he said after an event at the PTP on Friday (Jan 7).

Also present were PTP chief executive officer Marco Neelsen, Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad and ministry secretary-general Datuk Isham Ishak.

In his speech, Dr Wee congratulated PTP for such an amazing achievement.

“At a time when other ports around the world are still reeling from the impact caused by various business and operational issues due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, as well as freight costs, port congestion, vessel blockages, equipment and manpower shortages and others, PTP has shown great resilience in navigating through these challenges.

“PTP had also recorded a few other milestones throughout 2021, including successfully achieving the first annualised volume throughput of 10 million TEU, becoming the first port in South-East Asia to welcome the world’s largest container vessel, Evergreen Ever Ace, and the world’s first and largest Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) powered container ship, CMA CGM Jacques Saade.

“The tremendous growth of PTP over the years has truly underlined the value of the maritime sector to Malaysia’s economic well-being and the importance of trade economy to the nation,” he said.

As ports are essential contributors to Malaysia’s growing international trade and crucial to the prosperity of its trade-dependent economy, Dr Wee said the government spares no efforts in continuously developing the industry by enhancing its capacity, developing human resources, ensuring the safety of ships and navigation, and continuously providing efficient ancillary services.

“This is why we continue to make long-term efforts towards achieving these goals, such as ensuring that we secure Malaysia’s seat at the International Maritime Organisation Council (Category C) for the ninth term in London last Dec 10.

“It keeps us at the forefront of marine industry policymaking and developments,” he said.

Dr Wee noted that more needs to be done to enhance Malaysian seaports to improve their competitiveness.

“I want the ports to continue enhancing their infrastructure, management and operational efficiencies to improve the country’s competitive advantage in an increasingly competitive global market.

“More needs to be done in terms of ports and shipping development for the country to fully optimise the usage of our maritime resources, infrastructure and expertise.

“Malaysian ports still remain at the forefront of the transport and trade facilitators and will continue to receive full support from the government to succeed,” he added.

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