PETALING JAYA: A third edition of port-clearing exercise will be carried out from Monday (April 13) to ease congestion in ports nationwide, says Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.
The Transport Minister said the port clearing exercise, which should end on Wednesday (April 15), would be based on the current standard operating procedures (SOP) that had been communicated to relevant port operators.
This includes Port Klang, Johor, Penang, Kuantan, Melaka, Bintulu and Padang Besar bordering Thailand.
"These SOPs have also been communicated to participating ports owned by their respective state governments.
"The previous port-clearing exercises, carried out in end of March and early April, have proven to be effective in expediting the movement of cargo in congested ports.
"The movement of cargo to their final destinations is vital to ensure the uninterrupted supply chain of goods to satisfy the essential needs of consumers and households during the movement control order (MCO)," said Dr Wee in a statement on Friday (April 10).
The Ayer Hitam lawmaker said the congestion, particularly in Port Klang, Penang, and Johor, had almost reached their maximum capacity.
Any delay would have meant essential goods could not reach markets, he said.
He added that these port-clearing exercises were in line with the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Measures within the Infected Local Areas) (No.2) Regulations 2020, which has been in effect since the second phase of the MCO.
The second port-clearing exercise saw congestion in import-side container yards across most of the ports reduced to between 40% and 60% of their capacities.
"Only Johor Port in Pasir Gudang and Westport recorded a high container yard usage at nearly 70%.
"Meanwhile for all ports, export-side container yards recorded congestion of lower than 40% of their respective capacities.
"The ministry will continue to monitor the congestion in ports nationwide during the MCO and carry out additional port clearing exercises as necessary," he said.
Dr Wee said his ministry was in constant contact with the industry players including port operators, freight forwarders, hauliers and other companies involved in logistics and transportation to ensure the smooth operations of the entire sector.
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