Move over Singapore. Malaysia‘s Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP) has again won out over the Port of Singapore by grabbing the prestigious Lloyd’s List Maritime Asia’s Container Terminal Award of the Year 2006. PTP, Malaysia’s number one port, beat finalists PSA Singapore Terminal and Thailand’s LCB Terminal.

The reason is PTP’s high recorded productivity and accelerated growth among global ports. It is valued for its cost of service, value for money, average speed to berthing, on-site facilities, overall efficiency and frequency of liner calls.

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Ahead of the field

“PTP is one of the few ports in the world capable of handling the Emma Maersk and the next generation of container ships expected to carry the growing volume of world container trade,” says the port’s CEO, Harun Johari.

Emma Maersk, a ship the size of four football fields, is the world’s largest container ship, is operated by Maersk Line, which is one of the largest container ship operators in the world. Other liners calling at PTP include Taiwanese giants Evergreen Marine Corp.

“PTP is today one of the fastest-growing ports in the world and is already acknowledged by the world’s major shipping lines as a premier world-class transshipment hub,” says Mr Harun.

Factors that have contributed to this rapid growth include its excellent state-of-the-art facilities: port facilities and infrastructure that include 27 super post-Panamax quay cranes, 3.6 kilometres of linear wharf, one the region’s largest container yards with a capacity of 154,000 TEUs (20-foot equivalent units) and 3000 reefer points. Supported by a state-of-the-art integrated information technology system and highly trained staff, PTP provides high efficiency and productivity at all elements of the supply chain.

Mr Harun says that while most ports in Asia and the world constantly face congestion and capacity constraints along with the introduction of bigger vessels with deeper draft requirements, PTP is poised to be one of the few ports in the world that has the capacity to cater to container traffic growth during the next 15 years.

“PTP, with its state-of-the-art facilities and draft of up to 19 metres, can accommodate the largest container vessels in the world today,” says Mr Harun.

“In 2005, it handled 4.2 million TEUs after only five years of operations, representing a remarkable 10-fold increase in growth over such a short period of time. We are expecting to handle five million TEUs by end of 2006.”

A key advantage to PTP is its geographical advantage. It is only 45 minutes from the confluence of the world’s busiest shipping lanes. It is situated at the mouth of the Pulai River in south-west Johor and is easily accessible from the Straits of Malacca. Occupying 783 hectares, it is a naturally sheltered deep-water port close to the Malaysia-Singapore Second Crossing.

Located on a green-field site, PTP offers more than 405 hectares of commercial and industrial free zone. Its excellent connectivity via road, rail, air and sea has been a major factor in attracting companies such as BMW, Schenker Logistics and Maersk Logistics to set up operations there. Other global brands include JST, Flextronics, CIBA Vision and Cooper Cameroon International.

Logistics triangle

A significant component of the new economic growth area of south Johor, PTP, Johor Port and Senai Airport will form a logistics triangle to be an integrated logistics hub connecting the region to the major industrial players of the world.

PTP is now preparing to meet the demands of the future with the ongoing development of Phase II of the port’s master plan. The existing 10 berths give it a total of 3.6 kilometres of linear quay wharf with an annual capacity of eight million TEU.

PTP has received a lot of recognition, including Best Emerging Container Terminal in 2000 and 2001, Asia’s Container Terminal of The Year in 2004 and Best Productivity and Best Terminal in 2005, 2004 e-Asia Award for Trade Facilitation and, recently, the best Container Terminal of the Year 2006 by Lloyd’s List Asia Maritime Award.