Kelang meets revised forecast

Kelang meets revised forecast

The largest operators at Malaysia's Port Kelang processed 4.8 million TEUs in 2003, up from 4.5 million the year before as the port met a revised forecast target.

The Kelang Port Authority originally projected volume of 5 million TEUs, but trimmed that to 4.8 million based on the first eight months' volume.

The port agency said its Northport unit accounted for 54 percent, or 2.5 million TEUs, of the total; the Westport operation handled 52 percent, or 2.35 million TEUs. Kelang Multi Terminal Sdn. Bhd., which operates Westport, said its total volume in 2003 comprised 60 percent transshipments and 40 percent domestic boxes. It is forecasting 2.6 million TEUs in 2004.

Northport (Malaysia) Bhd. did not break down its total volume, or provide a forecast for the current year.

Part of the growth at Kelang, serving the capital of Kuala Lumpur, came from China Shipping Container Lines Co., which moved 250,000 TEUs through Westport. That ranks it as the third-largest customer after CMA CGM of France and Goldstar Lines, a regional feeder for CMA CGM.

China Shipping, an affiliate of state-owned China Ocean Shipping (Group) Co., switched its regional transshipment hub to Kelang from Singapore in early 2000. China Shipping (Malaysia) Agency Sdn. Bhd., the agent for the carrier, is forecasting volume of 400,000 to 500,000 TEUs this year.

The line plans to double services via Kelang to 14 a week by June, a spokesman told Malaysia's Business Times, as other countries in the region use it as a transshipment hub.

At the same time, shippers have called for a review of Kelang's plan to hike fees as much as 42 percent for pilotage and towing.