By NUR HAZIQAH A MALEK
MMC Corp Bhd’s subsidiary Johor Port Bhd ended 2020 on a strong note by surpassing one million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) despite challenges brought about by the pandemic.
Johor Port CEO Md Derick Basir (picture) said the port managed to expand its business amid Covid-19 headwinds, as the pandemic and a shortage of empty containers in the region had an overall negative impact on the industry throughout last year.
“Johor Port still managed to progress its business efficiently and surpassed the one million mark for 2020,” he said in a statement yesterday.
The port posted a 6% year-on year (YoY) growth in the first quarter of 2020 before the spread of Covid-19 affected its business over the next three consecutive months. However, the reopening of industries on May 4, 2020, allowed export volume to recover as manufacturers stepped up production to meet pre-movement control order demand and supply.
Johor Port saw its export and import volume improve in 2020, mainly due to the strong support of gateway cargoes.
“The majority of the gateway volume was derived from the production by major industry players. Johor Port also managed to secure four new services in 2020 mainly to the intra-Asia region,” the company said.
The terminal also managed to entice Sealand to bring in a new service to cater for their short-haul cargoes, while adhoc calls and mini transhipments promoted by Johor Port also provided additional volume to the terminal.
Operational improvements contributed to yard efficiency and productivity, resulting in better gross moves per hour (GMPH) of 22 cranes GMPH compared to previous years, which had been consistently operating at a GMPH figure of 20-crane MPH.
Md Derick said the group remains optimistic on its growth prospects this year, as global trade gradually improves.
“While we are expecting a long recovery period of six months to an entire year, Johor Port is committed to ensuring business continuity and for the Port to be managed well throughout this volatile time,” he said.
The port and terminal industry represent a doorway to maximise the country’s economic development and thus, is a lifeline that connects local communities to the region and the world.
According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, maritime trade growth is expected to return to positive territory and expand by 4.8% in 2021, assuming the world’s economic output recovers.
Despite the currently present uncertainty, the port has leverage via its positioning as a major regional commodity hub connecting Asean to the intra-Asia region and customer segmentation, including shipping lines, non-vessel operation common carriers, manufacturers and logistics operators.