WESTPORT will be able to handle 4 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) by the end of this year, chief operations manager Ennarasu Karunesan said.
Westport, which is operated by Kelang Multi Terminals Sdn Bhd, has a capacity for 3 million TEUs at the moment, he told Bernama ahead of the Asia Pacific Maritime (APM) conference and show in Singapore from today until Friday.
By 2007, Westport, hailed as a 21st century port, would have a capacity to handle 6 to 7 million TEUs, Ennarasu said.
He said the growth in Malaysia's container industry had been exponential, expanding from 2.5 million TEUs moved in 1996 to 10.8 million TEUs last year.
Similarly, total world container throughput had been vigorous, rising from 20 million TEUs in 1980 to 230 million TEUs in 2000.
“It is anticipated that total world container throughput in 2020 will grow to 2 billion TEUs. Container volumes are seeing multi dimensional growth. Today, 95% of the world's cargo is transported by sea, 3% by air and 2% by rail.
“However, 65% of ships spend their time at ports. If we can reduce this to 50%, shipping lines and ports will all make (more) money,” he said.
Referring to APM, he said participants would be able to acquire in-depth knowledge in free trade agreements and their impact on Asian countries and be updated on several maritime issues.
Ennarasu also said the maritime industry, especially port operators, now faced the issue of implementing the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPs) Code and the Container Security Initiative (CSI).
He disclosed that Westport had implemented a contactless Smart- card Clearance System for hauliers and this had resulted in tighter security and integrated security control.
“Our automated boom barrier gate will be ready next month. All these systems ensure that only authorised users can gain access to the port.
“We are also fitted with CCTV at all entries, for total security for port users. All these are compliant with ISPS and CSI, making Wesport on par with other international ports.”
Ennarasu said APM would benefit Westport in exploring the latest port handling equipment, systems and technologies.
“We would like to see product segments of crane equipment and services, port and harbour navigational services, port and terminal equipment, port repairs facilities, port services, and tug and pilot boat services.” – Bernama