Northport aims to compete with Singapore through cost efficiency and land advantage

Northport ups investment to attract shipping lines

06 Feb 2024 09:52am
Northport Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Datuk Azman Shah Mohd Yusof
Northport Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Datuk Azman Shah Mohd Yusof

SHAH ALAM - Northport (Malaysia) Bhd (Northport) is eyeing cost efficiency and its vast land space to compete with Singapore's port facilities, according to CEO Datuk Azman Shah Mohd Yusof.

He highlighted Singapore's land constraints leading to higher construction costs, making Northport a competitive alternative.

Azman said Port Klang needs to play a crucial role in competing with the neighboring country.

"Westports Holdings Bhd (Westports Holdings) and Northport each have their niche, complementing each other to make it an advantage compared to Singapore.

"If you look at Singapore, all the warehouses are vertical. I've been there, and there are trucks parked on levels nine to fifteen, the land is insufficient, so when you build warehouses vertically like that, the costs will be high.

"Indeed, Singapore is a country with a high cost of living compared to others," he said in a meeting in conjunction with a recent courtesy visit from the Sinar Karangkraf delegation.

However, Azman said North Port needs various strategies in this effort to achieve that, considering Singapore remains the preferred location for major shipping companies.

"If we can use the advantages of low costs and abundant land, we can build excellent facilities, especially if we have a 'carrier island.'

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"We can compete; however, currently, large shipping companies usually choose Singapore.

"So we need to strategise, but facilities must be in place to make it an advantage in terms of cost efficiency," he added.

Commenting further, Azman said North Port is also in the process of constructing a new container yard as part of this year's plan.

"We have demolished some structures in specific areas. We are building new 'yacht' (sailing ship) containers to increase our capacity.

"Last year we bought 34 new terminal equipment, and some will be replaced.

"Digitisation will continue to be implemented, and we are still looking for land to build warehouses," he added.

The Sinar Karangkraf delegation's visit was led by the Sinar Karangkraf Group Chief Executive Officer Farah Hussamuddin.

The one-hour meeting took place at the CBM Northport Meeting Room, Jalan Pelabuhan, Pelabuhan Utara, Port Klang.

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