Westports’ Volumes Drop due to Alliance Reshuffle

Malaysian port operator Westports Holdings Berhad has recorded a lower container volume than previously expected for the five-month period ended May 31, 2017.

After achieving a 1% growth in container volume to 2.4 million TEUs in the first quarter of 2017, the operator informed that it plans “to maintain similar container throughput as that achieved in 2016.”

However, Westports handled 3.95 million TEUs for the five-month period ending in May, which is lower by 3% when compared to the corresponding period last year.

“We had originally expected to still grow our volume this quarter due to an increased amount of transitional moves or ad hoc calls as a result of the changes in shipping alliances,” the port operator said, adding that these did not materialise as planned due to the fact that competition for these volumes was intense.

The realignment of the container shipping industry from April 1, 2017 saw the phasing-out of previous services under the Ocean 3 Alliance (O3), CKYHE and G6 and the gradual phasing-in of services under the new Ocean Alliance and THE Alliance.

Under O3, the company’s services were more spread out across the regions. In Ocean Alliance and THE Alliance, most of the 12 services that would be calling at Westports are more eastbound-focused services than westbound services.

With the more moderate container throughput, Westports said that it now expects the year’s overall container volume to be lower than the previous year by a single-digit percentage.

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