GEORGE TOWN: The volume of export cargo handled at the Penang International Airport is projected to rise by 8% in 2018 to 69,630 tonnes from 65,747 tonnes in 2017.
Penang Freight Forwarders Association secretary-general Ali Ahmad told StarBiz the increase indicated that the local electrical and electronic (E&E) industries was in a healthy state.
“The feedback on export figures for the third quarter has been positive.
“We expect a slight decrease in the final quarter, as most of the finished electronic goods have already been shipped out in the third quarter,” he said.
Finished electronic goods make up about 70% of the export cargo, according to Ali.
“The export from the Free Industrial Zone has risen steadily since three years ago,” he said.
The imported cargo handled, however, is forecast to decline by 12% to 58,000 tonnes from 65,305 tonnes in 2017.
“The decrease has to do with a weaker ringgit, which made buying from overseas expensive,” Ali said.
He added that if not for the competition from Middle-Eastern Airlines that offer competitive freight rates operating from KL International Airport, the export cargo figures from Penang International Airport would be higher.
“It would easily be a growth of 15% and not 8%,” he added.
Ali said the federal and state governments should quickly look into making the establishment of an integrated cargo complex at the Penang International Airport a reality.
“Currently, there are two cargo terminals. An integrated cargo complex would cut operational costs of freight forwarders and shorten clearance time,” he said.