Northport records higher throughput of 20.7% in 2021

The group persisted in improving its operational efficiency and productivity to help reduce the impact of supply chain disruption 

by ASILA JALIL / Pic by TMR FILE PIX

NORTHPORT (M) Bhd hit a new record with an all-time high container volume in a year after the 3,305,765th container was discharged from the Interasia Horizon vessel, surpassing the previous record of 3,305,764 [twentyfoot equivalent units (TEUs)] set in 2010. 

Its throughput to date is 20.7% higher than its throughput last year. 

The Covid-19 pandemic, which disrupted supply chains due to the halt of operation by major ports or long vessel delays, had greatly affected Northport’s operations. 

The group, however, persisted in improving its operational efficiency and productivity to help reduce the impact of supply chain disruption. 

“We had embarked on the ‘Reinventing Northport’ programme since the takeover of Northport by MMC Corp Bhd group in 2016, which included refocusing our strategy to become a local gateway and Intra-Asia hub, optimising our operating costs, replacing ageing equipment, enhancing our facilities and improving our services and products. 

“This had led us to break our highest monthly container handling performance by recording 310,865 TEUs in December last year. We were making steady progress until the pandemic hit us hard,” said Northport CEO Datuk Azman Shah Mohd Yusof (picture) in a statement yesterday. 

The group faced major challenges at the start of the year when the port experienced heavy congestion at its container yard due to the high number of vessel calls, where the discharge of containers from the vessels was more than the loading operation.

It had more than 250 vessel omissions this year as shipping lines realigned their schedules and omitted port calls. 

The group added the issue was further exacerbated when the movement of import and export containers by hauliers was affected by the implementation of nationwide lockdown by the government. 

“However, Northport was quick to respond to the issue with short, mediumand longterm action plans to reduce the congestion. 

“The measures were proven effective as the port’s operations recovered in less than one month. 

“The ports and logistics industry players came together and did their part, aided by the government agencies, and led by the Port Klang Authority, to bring some semblance of normalcy to Port Klang’s operations,” said Azman Shah.

The recent flash floods had also impacted Northport after more than 500 of its employees were affected. 

Azman Shah said although its port was not badly affected by the floods, it had a shortfall in manpower as most of its staff could not come to work due to road closures. 

Azman Shah noted the group is cautiously optimistic on the prospects of 2022 in the face of an uncertain economic outlook, with a new wave of Covid-19 variants namely the Omicron which has taken over many countries globally. 

“Nevertheless, we will continue with the next phase of ‘Reinventing Northport’ as we are expanding our yard capacity and buying new equipment to further boost our productivity and achieve more success in the years to come, in our transformational journey to be a safer, greener, smarter and better port,” he said.