,“Containers now tend to stay longer in our ports which is not great because we would rather it have a quicker turnaround time. But they are staying longer because there are so many supply chain disruptions: mainly due to border controls and the lockdowns occurring in some countries,” Westports’ group managing director Datuk Ruben Emir Gnanalingam (pic) tells StarBizWeek.
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SUPPLY chain disruptions have necessitated a change in the way Westports Holdings Bhd handles cargo that goes through Port Klang.
The largest public listed port operator in the country, which services the main entry point for cargo to central Peninsular Malaysia and a key port along the Straits of Malacca, has allocated some capital to this new development accordingly.
These supply chain disruptions are a common occurrence these days and this is not just prevalent in Malaysia but globally, having caused a backlog of sorts within the global supply chain.
It is caused by the numerous factory or plant shutdowns occurring in parts of the world as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to rage on.
Being on the receiving end of this, Westports has allocated money to increase its yard capacity accordingly.
The container yard is the space within the port that has been earmarked for the stacking of containers.Westports
Import, export and transshipment containers are placed within the container yard while awaiting the containers’ next destination.
“Containers now tend to stay longer in our ports which is not great because we would rather it have a quicker turnaround time. But they are staying longer because there are so many supply chain disruptions: mainly due to border controls and the lockdowns occurring in some countries,” Westports’ group managing director Datuk Ruben Emir Gnanalingam tells StarBizWeek.
“When one country goes into lockdown, it means that the cargo can’t go into the retail area since they are closed. What this means is that the warehouses are then full: the port cannot get the goods to the warehouse and this causes the whole supply chain to be backed up,” Ruben says.
He notes that this phenomenon is not just isolated to the company but to other ports around the world which have become very full, thus being unable to accept new cargo anymore.
“It is much harder to operate when it becomes so full. Typically, our yard is not this highly utilised and at the moment it is at 90%-100% utilisation from 70%-80% in a normal year. It is not just happening here, but around the world. Goods are not flowing as how they should normally,” Ruben says.
“This is also the reason why there is a shortage of containers since goods are staying in containers longer than they normally would. A round-trip (shipping) is now taking longer than they normally would. It is not really a shortage in containers per se but because turnaround times are now longer per cycle,” he adds.