The idea, mooted by the Transport Ministry in
2002, had seen numerous postponements and deferments.
The last deferment was made in June last year by
the Port Klang Authority (PKA) due to the global economic
However, for the implementation this year, PKA
had taken into consideration some of the concerns raised by the
For example, it has directed the two terminals to
calculate the free storage period based on hours (72) instead of
days, and to waive the storage charges if delays are caused by
Customs, other government agencies, or the terminals themselves.
The terminals were also told to maintain the
five-day free storage period until Dec 31 for shipments from
MultiCargo Express Sdn Bhd chief operating
officer Robin Hoh said the reduction in the free storage period
was good as it would enable Port Klang to function more
“This has been practised in most European
countries for quite some time now whereas certain countries only
give consignees a day to clear their cargo,” he told StarBiz.
“Also, the turnover will be faster, thus profiting not only the
carriers, but the ports and depots as well.”
“But, if we want this implementation to be
successful, all related bodies for the clearance and delivery of
cargo must be more focused and committed,” Hoh added.
On the expected challenges of the new ruling, he
said that on festive holidays, all departments and authorities
from the points of entry to exit must be highly efficient to run
“In this case, pre-submission of documents for
cargo clearance should be practised,” he said.
Transways Logistics (M) Sdn Bhd president and
chief executive officer Edward Chan supported the shorter free
storage period but thought the timing of the implementation was
“We are still recovering from the global economic
downturn. Furthermore, some types of cargo need more than three
working days to be cleared.
“For example, for import cargo, before we can pay
the duty, we have to calculate and confirm with our clients. And
sometimes cargo needs approval from some government agencies
that may take more than three days,” he said, adding that about
30% of the cargoes handled by Transways were cleared in two to
Another logistics player also said the
implementation at this point of time was inappropriate as it
would hurt the businesses and their clients.
Meanwhile, Wilhelmsen Ships Service managing
director Winston Loo said shortening the free storage time was a
“It should make the entire logistics chain more
efficient. And, in doing so, would further improve Port Klang’s
competitiveness in the region,” he said.
Loo also believed that sufficient time had been
given to all stakeholders to re-engineer their processes to meet
the new ruling.
“Thus, while we do expect some hiccups, I believe
all the stakeholders will be able to overcome the shortcomings,”