The idea, mooted by the Transport Ministry in 2002,
had seen numerous postponements and deferments.
The last deferment was made in June last year by the
Port Klang Authority (PKA) due to the global economic downturn.
However, for the implementation this year, PKA had
taken into consideration some of the concerns raised by the port
For example, it has directed the two terminals to
calculate the free storage period based on hours (72) instead of
days, and to waive the storage charges if delays are caused by
Customs, other government agencies, or the terminals themselves.
The terminals were also told to maintain the five-day
free storage period until Dec 31 for shipments from Asean ports.
MultiCargo Express Sdn Bhd chief operating officer
Robin Hoh said the reduction in the free storage period was good as
it would enable Port Klang to function more efficiently.
“This has been practised in most European countries
for quite some time now whereas certain countries only give
consignees a day to clear their cargo,” he told StarBiz.
“Also, the turnover will be faster, thus profiting not only the
carriers, but the ports and depots as well.”
“But, if we want this implementation to be
successful, all related bodies for the clearance and delivery of
cargo must be more focused and committed,” Hoh added.
On the expected challenges of the new ruling, he said
that on festive holidays, all departments and authorities from the
points of entry to exit must be highly efficient to run things
“In this case, pre-submission of documents for cargo
clearance should be practised,” he said.
Transways Logistics (M) Sdn Bhd president and chief
executive officer Edward Chan supported the shorter free storage
period but thought the timing of the implementation was wrong.
“We are still recovering from the global economic
downturn. Furthermore, some types of cargo need more than three
working days to be cleared.
“For example, for import cargo, before we can pay the
duty, we have to calculate and confirm with our clients. And
sometimes cargo needs approval from some government agencies that
may take more than three days,” he said, adding that about 30% of
the cargoes handled by Transways were cleared in two to three days.
Another logistics player also said the implementation
at this point of time was inappropriate as it would hurt the
businesses and their clients.
Meanwhile, Wilhelmsen Ships Service managing director
Winston Loo said shortening the free storage time was a positive
“It should make the entire logistics chain more
efficient. And, in doing so, would further improve Port Klang’s
competitiveness in the region,” he said.
Loo also believed that sufficient time had been given
to all stakeholders to re-engineer their processes to meet the new
“Thus, while we do expect some hiccups, I believe all
the stakeholders will be able to overcome the shortcomings,” he