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Westports hopeful of handling 6 million TEUs

3 JANUARY 2011 - Westports' business grew an additional 1.1 million TEUs (twenty foot equivalent units) or 25 per cent to 5.55 million in 2010. It handled 4.45 million TEUs in 2009.

In a statement released yesterday, Westports Malaysia Sdn Bhd said it is hopeful of achieving 6 million TEUs this year. Its optimism is most probably spurred by high productivity of 734 moves per hour in March 2010, which was a world record.

Local import and export containers handled by Westports grew by 22 per cent while transshipment traffic increased by 23 per cent, reflecting a sharp recovery in both domestic and regional trade after experiencing a challenging period last year.

The port's overall container market share in Port Klang stood at 64 per cent while local volume made up 45 per cent share. The port grew its local volume from 1.2 million TEUs in 2009 to 1.5 million TEUs in 2010.

Westports chief executive officer Ruben Emir Gnanalingam said global trade activities rebounded in 2010, particularly the container handling business.

Main customers such as CMA, China Shipping and CSAV shipped more cargo while new lines like UASC, MOL and Johan Shipping show growth potential.

"We also inked long-term partnership with major shipping lines like China Shipping and Hanjin and long-term sub-lease agreement with Shell Malaysia Trading to operate and manage liquid bulk cargo," he said.

Ruben then said Westports was building a 300m wharf.

"We expect our new wharf and equipment to be ready for operations by the third quarter of 2011. We are now well positioned and prepared to handle more mega- sized vessels carrying 14,000 TEUs and above," he said.

Source: New Straits Times