Contact Us

Westports Expects 5.2 Million TEUs By Year-End

2 MARCH 2010, PETALING JAYA - Westports Malaysia is poised to handle 5.2 million container boxes (twenty-foot equivalent units or TEUs) by year-end as the shipping industry show signs of improvement following the regional economic recovery.

Executive chairman Tan Sri G. Gnanalingam, in stating this on Tuesday, said the shipping industry had been slowly picking up, backed by steady transport demand from emerging countries.

Last year, the industry suffered losses amounting to US$20 billion due to the effects of the economic downturn.

"The fastest growth recovery is in China and India," Gnanalingam told reporters at the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers' National Export Conference here.

"The second part of recovery will be Australia and South America, then later Europe and the United States," he said.

Earlier, he presented a working paper entitled "Importance of An Efficient Logistics System in Promoting Exports" at the conference.

Westports, one of two ports at Port Klang, handled about 4.5 million TEUs in 2009 and 5.28 million TEUs in 2008.

Gnanalingam said the company would continue to enhance facilities at the port, believing that Westports is well-positioned for continued prominence as a major loading centre for Southeast Asia.

"We have five terminals now and will embark on the sixth terminal soon," he said, adding that Westports has enough capacity to handle container boxes up to 6.0 million TEUs. The country's better-than-expected economic growth of 4.5 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2009 was also a good sign for the industry to grow further, he said.

To help shipping players, Gnanalingam said there was a need for the industry to consolidate and he expects more merger exercises to take place this year.

He said to ensure continuous growth of the industry, it was important to have standardisation and simplication of processes as the industry was currently fragmented and capital-intensive.

"This will cause consolidation," he added. The number of shipping companies has been reduced from 300 in 1980 to 50 companies at present.

Source: Bernama