Northport (M) Bhd expects its transshipment business to contribute 55% of its revenue from 45% last year on the back of the recovery in global trade and improved seaport infrastructure.
This will see Northport handling a higher transshipment containers capacity of about 1.45 million twenty foot equivalent units (TEUs) this year from 1.3 million TEUs recorded in 2013.
At present, transshipment makes up 45% of the port’s business, while 55% of its trade relies on local or hinterland cargoes, but the current ratio is expected to change, say port officials.
Revenue from transshipment containers contributes 24% of Northport’s total container revenue, and the remaining 76% earnings come from local container business.
“We are looking at a 10% growth for transshipment this year. The CT4 (fourth terminal) is one of the mechanisms to woo transshipment.
“We have the equipment and infrastructure ready for 2014, human resources is taken care of and we want to take it (business) to the next level,” Northport CEO Abi Sofian Abdul Hamid told The Malaysian Reserve in an interview recently.
Transshipment cargoes are containers that land at local ports and are transferred to other ships before journeying to its final destination. Northport, a wholly owned subsidiary of NCB Holdings Bhd, had been investing millions of ringgit to upgrade existing facilities to woo mother vessels to berth at its port.
Its fourth terminal, costing RM350 million, was opened for operations last February, which can now accommodate vessels weighing up to 200,000 displacement tonnes and up to 11,000 TEUs.
The new wharf (8A), part of the fourth terminal that commenced operations last December, is tipped to enhance Northport’s total throughput capacity to 5.6 million TEUs annually.
To support the new terminal, Northport acquired six quay cranes last year, costing RM170 million, bringing its total crane fleet for quay-side operations to 32 units. This improves loading and unloading operations and eventually reduces ship turnaround time at the harbour.
Northport is targeting its overall container throughput to grow by 5% or 3.4 million TEUs in 2014 that will boost its revenue by an additional RM23.5 million.
Last year, with a slight decline, the port recorded 2.89 million TEUs, which contributed RM470 million revenue.
“It will be a tough year but we are ready. I am telling our people to increase crane moves from the present 30 moves per hour to 32 moves. This will raise efficiency and we can give the best service to our clients when they come to Northport,” said Abi Sofian.
The port handles break bulk cargoes from iron, steel, timber, plywood, machineries to livestock, and dry bulk cargoes such as grain, corn, coal, marine salt and fertiliser.
All major shipping lines are calling at the port, including two major alliance P3 network and G6 members such as APL, Hapag-Lloyd, Hyundai Merchant Marine, Mitsui OSK Lines, Nippon Yusen Kaisha and Orient Overseas Container Line are using its
About 70 shipping lines call at the port and annually 5,000 vessels dock at its terminals.
Northport is one of the two main maritime gateways in Port Klang, while its close competitor Westport Malaysia Bhd is the other operator. Port Klang is the 12th busiest port in the world.