MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Sunday, May 2, 2021

Shippers complain of ‘huge losses’ after Sarawak computer failure


Shipowners say congestion at Senari port had disrupted services to Sabah and Sarawak. (Bernama pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: Shipowners have complained of having suffered “huge losses” after a computer problem at Senari port in Kuching, Sarawak, in March.

Four shipping associations said the container lines’ operating costs had escalated, but they also suffered from the loss of sailings and revenues.

The quality of shipping services to the business community was also adversely compromised, said the Malaysia Shipowners’ Association, Shipping Association Malaysia, Sarawak and Sabah Shipowners Association and Sarawak Shipping Association.

They said the number of vessels lying at anchorage while waiting to berth had accumulated since the incident took place.

The average waiting hours for a berth rose to 82 hours in April, an increase of 183% compared with 29 hours in March, while productivity had dropped 36% to nine gross moves per hour from the average of 14 gross moves.

The associations said port congestion and poor productivity had resulted in vessels designed for round-trip voyages of seven days (turning around from Port Klang to Kuching back to Port Klang) being no longer capable of completing the voyage in seven days.

“The average port stay hours (from arrival to departure) also jumped 180% to seven days in April from 2.5 days in March,” they said.

The associations said the delays at Senari port terminal had disrupted the supply chain to the overall Sabah and Sarawak market.

“Many vessels had suffered delays at other Sabah and Sarawak ports, which impacted the supply of empty containers for fresh bookings for shippers in Peninsular Malaysia,” they said.

The associations said the port’s service levels performance had not improved over the years due to lack of capital investments to upgrade its ageing equipment and information technology systems.

“There is an urgent need (for Kuching Port Authority) to review the entire port’s management system, including the port operating model,” they added. - FMT

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