Westports will continue with its planned container terminal expansion after the surge of container traffic in the final few months of 2020 increased demand for yard and berth space.
The terminal operator said in its annual financial results that it had invested and completed container upgrades at a cost of $20 million (RM81 million) and converted a common yard area into a fully operational container yard.
Datuk Ruben Emir Gnanalingam, Westports’ managing director said the sudden increase in traffic reinforced the need for it to undertake the terminal expansion between CT10 and CT17.
Ruben also said the above average container yard utilisation and yard congestion in Q4 had not only affected Westports but most ports around the globe.
“The global supply chain is adjusting to a combination of factors, such as higher consumer demand for containerised goods in Western economies, lockdowns in various parts of the world at different points in time and a global supply chain partly manned by people implementing COVID-19 precautionary measures.
“The direct and secondary long-tail effects of COVID-19 will continue to be felt in 2021 despite the gradual ramp-up in vaccinations.
“This will have a redistributive effect on society.
“The pandemic is a reminder of the importance of social contribution to the community. Westports will be channelling greater engagement with the community through Westports Foundation in 2021”.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused container traffic fluctuation at ports all over the world. Some ports suffered slumps in the first few months of 2020 but recovered with record traffic and container handling equipment productivity later.
Westports annual TEU traffic fell slightly to 10.5 million TEU year-on-year (YoY).