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  31st Oct 2011 - STAR MARITIME
 

Ports plan tariff hike

PETALING JAYA: A number of major ports in Malaysia plan to increase port tariffs or introduce new tariff items going forward.

This is because the revision of some of the tariff items has been long overdue. The move is also to match the investments that have been made to expand the ports.

Port Klang Authority acting general manager Capt David Padman toldStarBiz that some of the new rates should be applicable by the first quarter of 2012 pending the Transport Ministry’s approval.

“The revision of a number of tariff items including conventional cargo and marine services for Port Klang has been mooted since three years ago.

“This is because a large section of the conventional tariff has not been revised for 45 years since the days when Port Klang was administered by the Malayan Railways.

“Also, terminal operators have many times requested charges to be increased in line with the investments in the facilities and services including the construction of new berths, purchase of new cargo handling equipment and subsequent maintenance of the facilities.”

He said terminal operators had also requested an increase in marine service charges as fuel prices had increased substantially since 2008.

After extensive examination of the proposals by the operators and subsequent consultation with the industry and port users, charges for conventional cargo handling such as stevedorage, wharf handling and storage would be increased, Padman said.

“On the other hand, certain charges such as wharf labour and third-shift surcharge have been withdrawn as they are no longer justified given the scope of current port operations.

“Marine service tariffs will see a slight increase while container handling will see new charges for containers of more than 40 ft long,” he said.

It was reported in StarBiz last month that Penang Port Sdn Bhd also planned to introduce new tariffs in the middle of next year.

Chief operating officer Obaid Mansor was quoted as saying that the proposal to raise port tariffs, comprising largely cargo-handling and ship charges, had been submitted to the Penang Port Commission.

Penang Port tariffs were last revised in 2003 and implemented in 2007, which saw a 30% increase in handling charges for container cargo to the present rate of RM182 for a 20-ft container and RM273 for 40-ft container.

About 80% of the cargo handled at Penang Port’s North Butterworth Container Terminal comprises full container load cargo, which is expected to generate 75% of Penang Port’s revenue this year compared with about 65% in 2010.

Meanwhile, ports in Johor namely Johor Port and Port of Tanjung Pelepas, (PTP) are also expected to introduce new tariffs of some sort.

Chairman for both ports, Datuk Mohd Sidik Shaik Osman said Johor Port had recently received approval for a small revision of its port tariff only after 24 years.

“The new port tariff at the Johor Port has been effectively implemented since August 2011.

“The previous revision in Johor Port’s tariff was in 1987,” he said.

As for PTP, Mohd Sidik said it was currently exploring with the Johor Port Authority on the possibility of introducing new tariff items which were not currently prescribed.

“However, the expected impact on port users will be very minimal,” he said.

As of last year, Port Klang, which comprises Northport and Westports, were ranked at 13th place in the global container ranking by volume at 8.87 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs).

PTP came in at 16th place last year with a volume of 6.54 million TEUs,

It was reported that for the first five months of this year, Malaysian ports handled a total of 8.2 million TEUs, up 10.9% from the same period last year.

   
 

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