PFFA’s cargo volume set to increase

GEORGE TOWN: The volume of outbound and inbound cargo handled by the Penang Freight Forwarders Association (PFFA) is on track to increase by over 5% this year from a year ago.

Honorary secretary-general Ali Ahmad said from January till September 2022, PFFA members had already handled 134,893 tonnes of cargo, of which inbound freight formed 44,161 tonnes, while outbound shipment the remaining 63,102 tonnes.

“We are seeing more electrical and electronic (E&E) products shipped out of Penang International Airport as freight rates have dropped by 10% to 15% since early this year.

“Therefore, we are confident of achieving more than a 5% growth this year,” he added.

Ali said E&E components, comprising over 70% of the cargo exported and imported, would continue playing an essential role in driving up the volume of freight handled in Penang.

E&E components comprised over 70% of the cargo exported and imported.

He said that the growth trajectory should continue into the second half based on customers’ feedback, especially those in the E&E sector.

Ali said air freight rates had dropped by 10% to 15% because most airlines had resumed operations and were now carrying passengers.

“During the pandemic, freight rates soared because airlines cut down their flights and created a shortage of cargo space.

“The opening of borders has since increased air traffic, allowing passengers to subsidise freight rates.

“Freight rates, therefore, have dropped by 10% to 15% since the second quarter,” he said.

Depending on the destinations, the current air freight rates from Malaysia to Asian countries range from RM8.50 to RM12.75 per kg, while to the United States, the charges could range between RM38 and RM53 per kg.

The rate to Europe from Malaysia hovers between RM15 to RM21 per kg.

According to Ali, the passenger traffic in Asia-Pacific for 2022 is expected to increase to 1.84 billion from 1.5 billion in 2021.

Meanwhile, Pentamaster Corp Bhd chairman CB Chuah said the group would ship out more by air in the second half of this year.

“We will deliver about 65% of our semiconductor test equipment via air in the second half and we are shipping more than the first half of this year.

“The destinations we are shipping to include Europe, the United States and Japan,” he said.

Aemulus chief executive officer Ng Sang Beng said that from January till September, the group shipped via air 10% more testers than the previous year’s corresponding period.

“We hope to see the growth trajectory continue in the final quarter of 2022.”

According to the latest Deloitte report, the global chip industry will grow 10% to hit US$600bil (RM2.63 trillion) this year.

“Chips will be even more important across all industries, driven by increasing semiconductor content in everything from cars to appliances to factories, in addition to the usual suspects – computers, data centres and phones,” the report said.

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