KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 28 — Transport Minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong today ordered the Port Klang Authority (PKA) to immediately form a multi-agency task force to address congestion at its shipping terminals.
Wee acknowledged that the congestion has caused a problem for those in the retail sector due to the delays in receiving their cargo.
“Because of this, I have rushed to bring together today the government agencies, associations, and other stakeholders involved or affected to get some solutions in hand to deal with the congestion.
“For a start, I have directed Port Klang Authority to organise a task force immediately with the Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services (Maqis), Royal Malaysian Customs, Westports and Northport to expedite the checking of containers going through both terminals.
“I understand Customs will ramp up the manpower needed to process the clearances while Maqis will bring up its checks to 200 containers per day from 100 currently,” he said on his Facebook page.
Wee also advised purchasers to collect their goods in a timely manner, after their items are cleared by Maqis and the Customs Department.
He said that of the 246 containers cleared by the agencies today, only 83 were collected within 24 hours.
“This adds to the ongoing congestion. In response to a press conference held by the fruit and vegetable importers and wholesalers last Wednesday, PKA has also explained that the terminals at Northport and Westports are experiencing congestion due to a sudden surge of vessels and containers arriving of late, a scenario that is similar in major ports in the region and elsewhere. This sudden surge is also due to delays from their preceding ports including in China, Hong Kong and Singapore, because of a myriad of factors,” Wee added.
He said that to mitigate this issue, Westports had already widened its space for extra TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) containers by 6,000 ground slots, and of this, 600 containers have been allocated reefer containers (refrigerated containers) so that there is more space for perishables and foodstuff to be checked and expedited to the market.
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