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Port aims to provide the best for its stakeholders

23 AUGUST 2008 - As part of its corporate citizenship, Westports' prime objectives are to be customer-oriented and provide world-class cargo handling facilities. The port has consistently strived to provide the best working environment coupled with a garden port concept to be recognised as the best employer and a good corporate citizen.

Westports believes that it is only as strong and successful as its communities. As such, it is committed to providing world-class services that surpass customers' requirements and expectations.

In order to provide the best customer service, their service strategy is to deliver outstanding support in the most effective and efficient manner in pursuit of their goals to become among the finest in the industry.

From an industry point of view, Malaysia's container volume has progressed very well in the last ten years. In 1996, Malaysia's total volume was only 1.5 million TEUs (Twenty foot equivalent units). Today, we have grown to 15 million TEUs. As a percentage, this has grown from 1% to 3.5% of the total world volume in terms of containers.

Port Klang, which handled about one million TEUs in 1995, today handles seven million TEUs, and is well positioned to grow to 2% of the world's volume. Last year, Port Klang was ranked 16th in the world for container volume.

Port Klang's position in 2007 owed much to Westports improved throughput of 4.3 million TEUs, a growth of 18% compared with 2006. Westports has set a target of five million TEUs this year.

The market place is where the Company finds important stakeholders, namely shareholders, customers and suppliers. Westports interacts responsibly with these groups in a number of ways, such as supporting their Corporate Responsibility (CR) initiatives or engaging in ethical procurement practices.

Westports commenced operations with only five haulier companies. Today, there are over 120 haulier companies, providing very efficient services to the industry. In short, the market place has grown, and very vibrantly indeed, over the past decade by Westports' increase in throughput.

To be a responsible corporate citizen, Westports aims to grow in harmony with the global environment as it undertakes each business activity and ensures that all business activities conform to the highest corporate ethics. Westports, as a responsible corporate citizen, cares for the welfare of the community, and the environment at all times.

Recently, Westports supported the Green Initiative undertaken by one of its main customers, OOCL Shipping Line, in its efforts to preserve the environment. As this is still a relatively new area of CR, Westports recognises the need to engage customers via joint efforts to promote and undertake CR initiatives.

Westports upholds the highest standards of corporate governance that are critical to the business integrity and to maintain investors' trust in the Company. It has always ensured that the company is managed with integrity, accountability and transparency.

Westports executive director Ruben Emir Gnanalingam said the company ensured that its employees and customers were well-informed of the happenings at the port and in the industry.

"That commitment is reflected in our constant efforts to deliver up to date information via regular briefings and online bulletins such as Ripples for customers and Waves for employees," he said.

Westports' corporate website provides easy access to information on the port's operations, especially its e-Terminal link, which provides real time information to all port users.

As IT plays an integral and ubiquitous role in today's business, Westports enhanced its' e-Terminal by going truly electronic in 2006.

The e-Terminal comprises of ten systems and services that provide optimum efficiency, faster turnaround and higher productivity.

These systems and services were mostly developed in-house to offer customers a solution based on time efficient, cost reduction, and hassle free-environment.

Additionally, Westports continues to remain competitive and gain customer satisfaction and loyalty by leveraging on its edge in technology.

Previously, the arrival of a ship meant endless manual paper work. This caused delays in getting approvals and clearing cargo.

Today, at Westports, customers are able to experience convenience of IT technology that provides hassle-free business transactions. As a reward for this initiative, Westports bagged the Information Technology (IT) Gold Award at the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) World Ports Conference in Houston, Texas, US, last year. This award, presented biennially by the world body, demonstrates its commitment and leadership in promoting the use of IT in ports.

Westports was chosen from over 50 other ports from around the world, and won based on their submission titled Westports Malaysia e-Terminal, truly electronic.

Westports state-of-the-art terminal facilities, excellent infrastructure and consistently improving IT support services have all been specifically tailored to all port users and facilitate smooth transaction.

Westports is continuously looking into delivering new and improved ways of customer service and contributing to the overall competitiveness of Malaysia's transport and logistics industry.

Health and safety is also an integral part of service delivery and safe working practices incorporated in day-to-day processes.

The standard of service required by Westports' customers demands minimising every possible risk that could interfere with efficiency.

The success of the Company's employees in their continued pursuit of excellence is not only in providing the best productivity, but also in the management of health and safety of all port users and protecting the environment.

For over 12 years, Westports has been promoting health, safety and environmental best practices. This culminated in Westports winning the Silver Award for Safety Excellence from the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health in Feb this year.

Westports became the first Malaysian port to receive this safety accolade from the government. Westports has indeed helped make the government's vision of a safe working environment a reality and to be fully ISO 14001 compliant by 2009.

Westports' overall green pledge is to protect the environment, particularly in relation to its operations through a responsible environmental policy, exercising excellence in its practice.

The port has pledged to comply with all environmental laws and regulations of the Malaysian Government and all corporate environmental guidelines. On a sustainable manner, Westports will assess and monitor the environmental impacts of its operations and establish methods of tracking its environmental performance.

The port endeavors to prevent accidental releases of materials and energy as well as communicating the environmental policy, its objectives and actions to all levels of site operations as well as contractors and suppliers.

It also undertakes to foster responsibility for environmental control at all levels of the organisation through provision of appropriate environmental training and education.

Being a good neighbour, Westports communicates openly with the local community on environmental issues, especially with customers who have set up their own facilities within the terminal.

"To us, community and customer engagement is more than just sponsoring worthy causes with financial support."

"It goes beyond giving financial assistance for an occasion, as we also consider how employees can play an active role in making a difference to the community that we work and live in," Ruben said.

Source: The Star