Last year's 14.5 per cent increase in TEUs is attributed to the continued strong global container trade, particularly the Asia to Europe route
THE Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP), one of the top 20 busiest ports in the world, handled 5.5 million TEUs last year, an increase of 14.5 per cent from 2006.
The company attributed the impressive growth to the continued strong global container trade, particularly the Asia to Europe route and the strong performance recorded by existing customers.
PTP chief executive officer Harun Johari said another factor was the desire and commitment shown by PTP employees.
He said these favourable factors had enabled the company to be transformed into a major transshipment hub and became Malaysia's largest container terminal today, just within a span of eight years.
"Global container trade is expected to grow from eight to 10 per cent annually for the next five years. The demand for port capacity to handle this growth will be significant. It is therefore important for us to be able to cope with the growth by boosting our capacity from time to time.
"With the availability of ample space for expansion, we are ready to meet the needs of our existing and new customers," he said.
Harun said PTP took delivery of four new quay cranes and eight rubber tyre gantry cranes in 2007, adding that orders for additional new equipment to beef up its existing fleet of cranes are underway and would be progressively delivered this year.
He appreciated the support given by the state government, adding that both sides are currently working together to further deepen the access channel.
"This, coupled with the planned construction of two new additional berths, will ensure PTP continues to provide the needed capacity and meet the high productivity levels demanded by its customers," he said.
Currently, foreigners have invested a total of RM3 billion at the Pelepas Free Zone. Last year, the company attracted twice as many number of new customers compared to 2006.
"We now have more than 50 global brands operating a diverse range of businesses within our Free Zone. To accommodate the growing interest of potential investors in our Free Zone, we are now actively developing additional land to meet the demand.
"We are ready to complement the Iskandar Development Region's growth. This is evident in the marked increase of local shippers using PTP as their preferred port," he added.