Port operating efficiently despite hiccups

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KOTA KINABALU: The business community has been assured that the port is operating efficiently in spite of the on-going congestion, said Sabah Ports Sdn Bhd (SPSB) chairman, Datuk Karim Hj Bujang.“Recent weather conditions compounded by year end container volume have been attributing factors to the current situation.“On average, Sapangar Bay Container Port (SBCP) has regularly achieved a handling rate of 18-20 boxes per hour. However weather conditions in the west coast of Sabah have led to considerable loss of work time thus lowering SBCP’s usual productivity rate,” he said in a statement yesterday. SBCP is able to cater to all types of containerized shipment and provides adequate facilities for temperature sensitive or perishable cargoes, he added.In response to losses due to delays in cargo unloading, SPSB has informed that the company has provided windows berthing system to incoming vessels to facilitate faster unloading.“However, despite this arrangement, it is inevitable for vessels to be delayed due to various reasons. As vessels are on a connective route, any delays occurring at a previous port of disembarkation will affect arrival time thus leading to missed berthing allocation.“As a policy, SPSB shall release any unutilised berthing allocation to other vessels which are already on standby at the port“For vessels that have missed their time frame, they will be requested to queue until a berth becomes available,” he explained.Karim said that this has been the practice of most global ports including SPSB.“To date, SPSB is aware that less than 3 ships have opted to reroute to Bintulu due to missed window berthing, some having been delayed by the typhoon in China en route to Sapangar.”SPSB said the wharf activity is often at its peak during the last quarter of the year due to the festive season.SBCP has effectively managed this annual surge of containers through its 24-hour port operation, Karim said. However due to reasons specified earlier, performance for the past week has been affected, he reiterated. “Nevertheless, SPSB expects cargo volume to moderate now that end of year is approaching.SPSB aspires to be an important contributor to the State economy and is working towards becoming a global port of international standing.“As such, SPSB welcomes dialogues with business chambers and stakeholders to ensure it is able to cater to the needs of community and deliver solutions benefitting all parties concerned.”

5th November, 2016

Credit to News Sabah Times