The Kota Kinabalu Port has seen its container handling increased by 11% to 29,623 TEUs (twenty foot equivalent units) in the 1st quarter of 2003 from 26,649 TEUs in the same corresponding quarter last year.
Sabah Ports Authority (SPA) chairman Datuk Dr Zaki Gusmiah said this after the commissioning of 2 units of empty container handlers at the port yesterday.
We have seen an increase in container handling recently when some shipping operators rerouted their ships here from SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) affected countries, he said.
The empty container handling equipment, costing about RM600,000 each, would be used to handle empty containers meant for shipping, delivery or shipment.
Zaki said with the ever increasing containers being handled at the port right now, it was important to put in additional hours in order to meet with the ship operators' schedules and the turnaround time of their vessels. The increase in containers means additional storage space and delivery of cargoes for us, he said.
Besides having additional machineries to handle the containers, Zaki said the port authority was considering tearing down one of its warehouses to provide for some 4,500 sq metre (50,000 sq ft) of additional storage space.
The port authority would also provide one additional empty container handler and a reach stacker to handle containers each in Sandakan and Tawau ports to increase their container handling capability, he added. Bernama