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Westports, China Shipping seal long-term agreement

20 DECEMBER 2010, PORT KLANG - China Shipping Container Lines Co Ltd (CSCL), a division of China Shipping Group, has signed a long-term agreement with Westports Malaysia to make the latter its mega transshipment hub in South-East Asia.

Both parties signed a long term Terminal Service Agreement in Shanghai on Dec 7, said Westports Malaysia in a statement.

"China Shipping will be deploying 14,000 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units) vessels from the first quarter of next year as our 17-meter natural deep sea port is their preferred port of call," said Westports Malaysia chief executive officer Ruben Gnanalingam in the statement.

"Our skilful workforce and state-of-the-art port facilities are ready to handle these growing sizes of container vessels," Ruben added.

CSCL deputy managing director Zhau Hongzhou said the agreement reflected the strong bond of friendship and growing trade volume between both Malaysia and China.

"We would like to thank Westports for all their assistance in the past. Westports had given excellent service and we are confident of growing further in the next decade," said Zhau, who added that he was happy with the services rendered by Westports Malaysia, particularly the productivity rate on mega-sized CSCL vessels.

CSCL was currently the second largest customer at Westports, after French Liner, CMA CGM.

Westports was expected to handle some 600,000 TEUs for CSCL this year, including the Group's Feeder Liner - Puhai Shipping.

Westports set a benchmark for a China Shipping vessel in March this year.

They hit a crane productivity of 734 moves in a single hour of operations with nine-crane deployment.

This feat was performed while working on CSCL Pusan, a 9,600 TEU vessel.

In October, Westports Malaysia said it was on track to hit 5.5 million TEUs this year based on the first nine months of volume growth.

The latest third quarter volume saw 4% growth year-on-year to 1.5 million TEUs.

Ruben was reported as saying that from January to September, the port handled 4.1 million TEUs giving a strong indication that it was on track to achieve this year's target.

Westports handled about 4.5 million TEUs last year.

Source: The Star