|daily menu » rate the banner | guess the city | one on one|
|November 19th, 2008, 01:13 AM||#11|
Join Date: Sep 2003
Likes (Received): 302
PTP sees opportunities despite global crisis
JOHOR BAHRU: While the shipping world “groans” under the pressure of a global economic crisis with the prospect of declining trade, the Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP) in Johor is optimistic of “inherent opportunities” in the current situation.
“I admit that we have been affected by the economic downturn in the United States and Europe and there is already some impact on our volume, but we consider this to be a short-term effect.
“However, this crisis can also provide opportunities for us because we are mainly a transshipment port,” PTP’s deputy chief executive Ismail Hashim told Bernama.
He said PTP was monitoring developments in global trade and shipping, and was closely working with its two major customers — Evergreen and Maersk — shipping lines which have their operations at PTP.
“One way to respond to the crisis is to cut down cost, and we are working towards lean management which, in turn, will enable us to pass on the benefits to our customers.
“This is our way of supporting our customers. In my view, the present crisis is different from the Asian financial crisis in late 1990s when interest rates were infinitely higher than now,” he said.
Arguing that customers look for the “bottom line” in tough times such as now, Ismail said PTP offered a “good option” to operators.
Cargo handled at PTP comprises mainly electronic and electrical products and consumer goods. The port handled some 5.5 million TEUs in 2007 but many experts predict that the volume may decline in the current year because of the global economic turmoil.
PTP, which has an annual capacity of about eight million TEUs, is expanding its facilities.
It is implementing its phase two projects which include reclamation work for eight berths, four of which have been completed and another two will be completed in the second half of 2009. The remaining two should be ready for use by 2011. Six berths were completed under phase one.
“We have so far spent about RM4 billion on port expansion and development. Our aim is to become the preferred port in Southeast Asia,” he said.
On global shipping trends, Ismail said he expects competition to hot up in the coming months and years.
“Besides ensuring long-term capacity and connectivity, the key word to our success will be efficiency,” he said.
“We must project ourselves as different from others. Let us not forget that we are engaged mainly in transshipment. Indeed, transshipment is the mainstay of our business. We are also looking at the gateway business and developing our hinterland cargo business,” he said.
In contrast to PTP’s status as a transshipment port, Port Klang is a gateway port.
Ismail said PTP would be looking to expand its hinterland market in future with the implementation of the government-backed Iskandar Malaysia corridor development which is expected to provide a strong impetus to shipping and distribution.
The latest to join PTP is MISC Bhd, which started to move its operations from Singapore in May 2008.
MISC’s shift will no doubt further extend PTP’s outreach in the Asia-Pacific region, he added. — Bernama