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File picture shows a man being silhouetted as he fishes near Northport in Klang June 7, 2014. — Reuters pic
File picture shows a man being silhouetted as he fishes near Northport in Klang June 7, 2014. — Reuters pic

SHAH ALAM, Jan 10 — The Port Klang Authority (PKA) said the congestion at Port Klang has shown improvement after several immediate measures implemented by a task force directed by the Transport Ministry since last month.

PKA chairman Datuk Chong Sin Woon said the task force, headed by the authority comprising Northport, Westports, Royal Malaysian Customs Department (RMCD), the Department of Malaysian Quarantine Inspection Service (MAQIS) and several logistics associations, was formed to identify the root causes and immediate measures to expedite cargo flow and the movement of ships through the port.

“Last Friday, MAQIS deployed additional manpower to conduct container inspections with 100 per cent of all blocked containers inspected and released within a day, a vast improvement compared to 60 per cent previously.

“Reefer containers pick-up by hauliers and consignees has improved significantly with almost 50 per cent delivered within 24 hours after gate passes are issued against 30 per cent previously. This has led to improved reefer yard utilisation which has dropped to 95 per cent from 100 per cent last week,” he said in a statement today.

He said the joint efforts with shipping lines have resulted in ships loading more exports and transshipment containers which have remained for long periods in the port.

Chong said some lines have also deployed additional ships for this purpose and the port has provided berthing priority for these ships to facilitate quicker turn around.

“Additionally, forwarding agents and importers have stepped up efforts to clear import containers from the port early and avoid storage within the port area.

“With a net evacuation of 20,000 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) of export and transshipment containers, yard utilisation has dropped from 90 per cent to 82 per cent, enabling the terminal to operate with better productivity,” he said.

The RMCD has also deployed additional officers to expedite clearance of import and export documents, besides assigning special counters for reefer and perishable goods, he added.

The task force has also improved vessel average waiting time significantly starting last week with vessels now getting a berth within 24 hours of arrival at the outer anchorage compared with five days in December last year.

Chong said all parties will continue to work closely to ensure the situation is adequately managed and that cargo principals and shipping companies are serviced in a timely and efficient manner.

He said the issue was mainly caused by external factors but PKA and the logistics community will take all necessary measures to minimise inconvenience to port users, especially with the anticipated increase in goods leading up to the Chinese New Year next month. — Bernama


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