Govt allows goods to be moved from Port Klang, Port of Penang, Johor Port

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KUALA LUMPUR (March 26): The government has allowed goods stuck at Port Klang, Port of Penang and Johor Port to be removed and delivered to their final destinations promptly to ensure that incoming essential goods are not impeded.

In a statement, Transport Minister Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong said that following yesterday’s Cabinet meeting and today’s National Security Council special ministerial meeting, he has instructed that special exemptions to clear non-essential goods are given to the affected ports, which are expected to be filled to maximum capacity this week.

“It is important to clear the congestion currently experienced at these ports so that imported essential goods are not impeded during the MCO [Movement Control Order],” he said.

He added that the aforementioned ports will develop and implement action plans to immediately expedite the movement of goods currently congesting their warehouses.

To ensure that goods are delivered to their ultimate destinations smoothly, the police will facilitate the movement of vehicles belonging to freight forwarders and haulier companies which will be allowed to remove these items from the ports for 24 hours a day between tomorrow (March 27) and Sunday (March 29).

“In doing so, the freight forwarders and hauliers sending goods must adhere to conditions stipulated by the media statement issued by the National Security Council on March 18, 2020. The transportation sector had been identified as one of the essential services under the Movement Control Order period and plays a key role in ensuring the nation's households will have access to their daily necessities,” he stressed.

He added that all export activities will be allowed to continue as it is necessary to ensure that supply chains are not severed and that countries requiring Malaysia’s exports continue to receive them.

Wee’s announcement comes as the Federation of Freight Forwarders Malaysia (FMFF) had warned that containers are piling up at ports as the movement of non-essential goods have been restricted.

FMFF president Alvin Chua told theedgemarkets.com that the government needed to consider allowing the transportation of containers bearing non-essential goods to warehouses, so that costs to freight forwarders would be reduced.

“This will ease the congestion at the ports and save costs for shipping players,” he said.

Chua highlighted that when a container is stuck at a port, storage, demurrage and removal charges are incurred and that if the situation is not alleviated, the added costs would ultimately be passed on to consumers.

He highlighted that such costs can average between RM75 and RM100 a day, and when combined can easily climb to RM3,000 a month per 20-foot container.

While some importers and exporters have applied for permits from the relevant authorities to transport containers, those dealing in non-essential goods for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that are unable to procure such permits will have to continue to pay for these charges at the port.

Malaysiakini reported today that FMFF has warned that containers are now stacking up at Port Klang, and that this was a “potential time bomb”.

Port Klang Authority (PKA) chairperson Ean Yong Hian Wah was reported as saying that the port authority will look into reducing storage fees for containers, and that it has submitted a list of supporting essential goods to the Ministry of Transport in the hopes that the National Security Council will allow for the transport of such goods on the road.

See also: 
FMFF: Allow the movement of non-essential goods containers to warehouses 
Port Klang Authority to waive storage and removal charges for non-essential goods stuck at port

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