MALAYSIA Airlines expects its air cargo division, Malaysia Airlines Cargo Sdn Bhd (MASkargo), to register at least 15% growth in cargo volume this year, senior general manager (cargo) J. J. Ong said.
Last year, the division handled 515 tonnes of air cargo.
Speaking to reporters in Shah Alam yesterday, he said MASkargo also expected to see, within the next six months, the impact from its recently introduced sea-air cargo transhipment service.
Although the projected 15% growth is lower than the 17% growth that we registered last year, we are now growing with a larger base, he said.
Ong said this after a briefing on the sea-air cargo transhipment service for companies handling such cargo.
Ong said MASkargo, which registered cargo volume totalling 441,000 tonnes in 2001, had received good response to the sea-air cargo transhipment service, which commenced operation on Jan 1.
We have had a lot of enquiries, but it is still very new. We will continue to promote the service through our offices worldwide, he added.
MASkargo and Northport, which is operated by NCB Holdings Bhd, have joined forces to promote sea-air transhipment cargo at both Port Klang and KL International Airport (KLIA) in an effort to establish sea-air links and make Malaysia a major multi-modal transportation and transhipment hub in the Asia-Pacific region.
Ong said MASkargo registered 36% growth in transhipment business last year.
We are aiming to grow the transhipment business further so that it will constitute 30% to 40% of our total volume this year, compared with about 20% last year, he said.
He said MASkargo planned to expand the sea-air transhipment service to include Kuantan and Tanjung Pelepas ports, adding that it was also looking at having a similar tie-up with railway operator KTM Bhd so as to attract cargo from southern Thailand.
However, we have not approached these parties yet as we want to ensure that our tie-up with Northport works well so that this venture can be replicated to the other prospective partners, he added.
Ong said with the strategic location of Kuala Lumpur along the main route in Asia, and its competitive cost, MASkargo and Port Klang terminal operators would be able to promote Port Klang and KLIA as the load centre for sea and air traffic for the region.
He estimated that compared with air transportation, clients using sea-air transhipment services offered jointly by MASkargo and Northport could save as much as 40% in logistics costs.
The service, which provides a seamless transfer of cargo from the seaports in Port Klang to MASkargo's advanced cargo centre, has no added hassle for Customs declaration and additional documentation. All sea to air shipment from the seaports will be sealed by the Customs department and loaded on to MASkargo's scheduled trucks for outbound destinations through KLIA, he added.