Penang Port may lose 20% of cargo traffic volume
BUTTERWORTH: Penang Port may be at risk of losing 20% of its cargo traffic volume unless its logistics’ efficiency improves, said IndonesiaMalaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT) Joint Business Council (JBC) Malaysia chairman Datuk Faudzi Naim Noh.
He said Thailand is developing a deep-sea port off the Chana district in Songkhla province, which faces the Gulf of Thailand and the South China Sea.
Faudzi said the port could serve as a direct seaborne gateway to China and other countries in East Asia, which means that freight traffic from East Asia would travel via South China Sea instead of “looping” around Peninsular Malaysia via the Straits of Malacca to reach their destinations.
“Currently, some 80% of southern Thailand’s freight is shipped through Penang Port but there is a distinct possibility that up to 80% of goods from northern Malaysia would go through Chana once the port there begins operations.
“As such, Penang Port stands to lose 20% of its current cargo traffic volume,” he said in his speech at the Inter-modal Logistics in Digitalisation Conference.
Faudzi also said key agencies such as Penang Port Sdn Bhd and Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd needed to enhance their logistic services and upgrade their equipment well in advance for the upcoming liberalised regional transport environment and challenges from new shipping structure in neighbouring countries. — Bernama