Web-cargo system soon


BY DERRICK VINESH in Penang

MASKARGO, Malaysia Airlines' (MAS) cargo arm, is to launch a pilot web-based surveillance system to track cargo at the Penang International Airport by the end of next month. 

MAS senior general manager (cargo) J.J. Ong said the system, using digital closed-circuit television at the airport terminal, would enable clients from any part of the world to view their goods in real time. 

“We are now in the final stages of setting up this electronic shipment tracking facility, and hope to launch it by the end of July or early August. 

J.J. Ong

“The system also enhances transparency, as forwarders, shippers and buyers could gain access to it,” he told reporters after signing new cargo sales agreements with 41 Penang-based forwarding agents at a leading hotel in Penang yesterday. 

“We are going to spend a lot of time and investments in Penang to improve our position through cargo handling, infrastructure and manpower skills development,” he said. 

“Penang is our second largest hub in the country, and it is important that we try and replicate here some of the successes we have achieved in Kuala Lumpur.”  

Ong said MASKargo had since last year focussed on Penang's expansion through infrastructure and human resources development to strengthen its position as a logistics hub for the northern region.  

One of the initial steps taken was the expansion of MASkargo's warehouse at the Penang airport from 80,000 sq ft to 100,000 sq ft last October at a cost of about RM2mil, he said. 

The company had also sent its staff for retraining, introduced additional flights into Penang, and opened a priority business centre for its core group of clients. 

“We have brought in a new management team to Penang and will soon provide 24-hour coverage to provide value-added services to our clients,” he added. 

Ong said MASkargo's logistics support rendered to the numerous high-tech companies based in Penang needed to be strong in order for them to continue to grow and expand. 

“So, we have made a lot of improvement, mainly to allow ourselves to be as competitive as other ports in the world, and at the same time, grow the business for the operators here in Penang,” he said. 

According to Ong, MASkargo may consider trimming some of its under-performing shipping and forwarding cargo agents to concentrate on those who were prepared to grow with its operations. 

MASkargo has more than 100 forwarding agents nationwide, including 70 in Kuala Lumpur, 41 in Penang and 20 in Johor. 

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