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Westports on track to achieve throughput of 6m TEUs in 2011, says CEO

11 APRIL 2011, KUALA LUMPUR - Westports Malaysia Sdn Bhd is on track to achieve a container volume throughput of six million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) this year after posting a 20% increase to 1.5 million TEUs in the first quarter ended March 2011 compared to 1.2 million TEUs a year ago.

Westports chief executive officer Ruben Emir Gnanalingam said its local volume rose by 13% while transshipment was up by 30%, adding that positive improvements were also seen in performance of conventional operations and physical expansion of the port.

In a statement Monday, April 11, Ruben said its March container volume of 527,267 TEUs was 25% higher year-on-year, while its current monthly average per day surged past 20,000 TEUs.

"Looking forward, the outlook for 2011 remains positive although the world was shaken by the recent quake and tsunami in Japan and the on-going crisis in the Middle East and Africa."

"I foresee our annual container throughput notching double-digit growth for 2011. The container port sector still has an upside potential as overseas economies continue to improve," he said.

Ruben said the growth of local boxes was encouraging, with Westports' market share rising to 49% in Port Klang, and while that for transshipment had risen to 75%.

"Overall, Westports commands a market share of 66% in Port Klang," he said.

As for conventional operations, Ruben said 2.1 million metric tonne of cargo were handled at Westports with main contributions coming from Dry Bulk and Liquid Bulk operations.

Westports also handled more than 40,000 units of RORO vehicles, confirming the port's growing status as the main national port for all export and import of vehicles, he said.

In keeping pace with the growth, Westports had already embarked on building the first 300-meter berth of Container Terminal (CT) 6, which would be ready by the second half of this year, he said.

The next 300-meter is scheduled to be completed by middle of next year, he said.

"As we continue with our supply driven focus, I am also pleased to inform that CT-7 would be ready by 2013. This is to assure all our shipping lines that we are ready to meet the upsurge in volume."

"In terms of equipment, we will be getting 8 new quay cranes this year, followed by another 7 next year," he said.

Source: The Edge