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  14th July 2008 - STAR MARITIME

Westports throughput up 17%

WESTPORTS Malaysia Sdn Bhd container throughput rose 17% in the first six months of this year against the same period last year.

The port achieved 2.45 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) for the first half of this year compared with 2.08 million TEUs last year.

Westports said in a statement the figure reflected the plan to achieve its projected volume of five million TEUs this year was on track. This healthy volume growth gives Westports a market share of 62% in Port Klang.

The January-June performance also indicated a growth of 25% for local boxes, which gave Westports a 45% overall market share at Port Klang.

Westports’ throughput for June reached its highest to-date with a volume of 435,000 TEUs.

Executive director Ruben Emir Gnanalingam said the achievement showed everyone’s support.

“We noticed robust growth in our local volume.

“The strong growth by our lines is fuelled by new services which links the East to Europe, Middle East, the Indian sub-continent as well as intra-Asia trade.

“Two of our lines, Yang Ming and TS Line posted a 300% growth while other lines chartered double digit growth for local volume,” he said.

The port’s gate operation is also facilitating faster turnaround time of about 20 minutes.

Westports is trying to further improve this by adding four more way-bridges for export purposes, which should be ready by the third quarter.

“We are confident the current buoyant performance will enable us to handle five million TEUs this year.

“The momentum will be continued in the second half of the year as we have confirmed five more services coming in the next two months which should add connectivity for local shippers to export boxes through Westports,” Ruben said.

He also said Westports had completed a 300-metre wharf, with another 300 metres scheduled for completion by September, bringing its total berth length to 3,200 metres.

“We are also taking delivery of three super post-Panamax quay cranes this month and another three in September,” he said.


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