New Labuan port operator showing competency

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New Labuan port operator showing competency

LABUAN: The new operator of Labuan Liberty Terminal is showing great competency since taking over on April 1 despite the ongoing Movement Control Order (MCO).

Fadric Lo, a representative of Sea Lane Shipping Sdn Bhd said that despite the MCO, the new port operator has delivered a good performance compared to the previous operator.

“The new operator had carried out maintenance and upgrading works which include paving work for roads at the container yard, aiming to end some of the frustration that users have faced over the last 20 years. 

“The operator should be given more time to prove its ability and create a win-win situation between the operator and users of the terminal,” he said.

He further stated that he had discussed the new charges imposed by the new operator, and the latter expressed its willingness to negotiate to lessen the burden felt by companies during the economic downturn. 

“This shall be implemented only after the end of the MCO,” he said.

However, Fadric shared that the new operator has already demonstrated sincerity by implementing a few initiatives on the exemption of multiple charges as announced on the operator’s website, which includes waiving Wharfage and Berthage Charges between April 1-30, waiving Container Storage Charges between April 1-8 and giving 50 per cent discount for cargo storage fees for consignees between April 9-30.

“On April 1, the new operator unloaded 185 containers from one of the ships and loaded 57 standard containers from April 1-2.

“Such loading and unloading speeds enable shipowners to leave the terminal in a short time and save up on berthage costs,” he added.

Meanwhile, Ben Line Agencies Sdn Bhd shipping agent manager Anthony shared that the company welcomed an initiative by the new operator to conduct a full-day operation, as compared to operating hours from 8am to 10pm by the previous operator. 

“The new operating hours will help to improve the efficiency of the port to allow its users to complete the loading and unloading of cargo. 

“This shall help to improve the competitiveness of shipping agents in the long run,” he said.

On the new port charges imposed, he said such charges were not imposed by the port authority previously, but considering that the new operator will need to spend for upgrading and maintenance works for the terminal, which includes providing sufficient lighting for 24-hour cargo activities, the new charges are understandable.

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