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KUALA LUMPUR, May 2 -- The container shipping lines have suffered huge losses after Senari Port in Kuching, Sarawak experienced a computer outage on March 27, 2021.
In a joint statement today, four shipping associations said following the incident, not only the container shipping lines’ operating costs had escalated, but they also suffered from the loss of sailings and revenues.
“Their shipping service qualities to the business community were also adversely compromised,” said the four associations, namely Malaysia Shipowners’ Association, Shipping Association Malaysia, Sarawak and Sabah Shipowners Association and Sarawak Shipping Association.
According to them, the number of vessels at the anchorage awaiting to berth had accumulated since the incident took place.
“For example, the average waiting hours for berth rose to 82 hours in April, an increase of 183 per cent compared to 29 hours in March.
“While the average port’s productivity had dropped 36 per cent to nine gross move per hour (GMPH) from the average 14 GMPH,” they said.
In addition, the associations said vessels that were designed with seven round voyage days (turning around from Port Klang to Kuching back to Port Klang in seven days) were no longer capable of completing a voyage in seven days, due to the port’s congestion and poor productivity.
“The average port stay hours (from arrival to departure) also jumped 180 per cent to seven days in April from 2.5 days in March,” they said.
Meanwhile, the associations said the delay from the Senari Port Terminal had inevitably resulted in disruption of the supply chain to the overall Sabah and Sarawak market.
“Many vessels had suffered delays at other Sabah and Sarawak ports following the disruption at Senari Port Terminal, which impacted the supply of empty containers for fresh bookings for shippers in Peninsular Malaysia,” they said.
The associations pointed out that the port’s service levels performance had not improved over the years due to lack of capital investments to upgrade its ageing equipment and information technology systems.
“We are of the view that there is an urgent need (for Kuching Port Authority) to review the entire port’s management system, including the port operating model,” they added.