Malaysian port operator Westports Holdings Berhad saw a 5 percent decline in its total throughput volumes during the first half of 2017, mainly attributed to the ongoing changes in the container shipping industry.
Namely, the company said it handled 4.66 million TEUs during the first half, compared to 4.9 million TEUs recorded in the corresponding period a year earlier.
The Intra-Asia segment constituted more than half of the total containers handled, and this segment saw a favourable growth of 7 percent, while Westports continued to facilitate domestic economic activities as the gateway volume increased by 5 percent in the first six months of this year.
However, due to the formation of new global alliances and re-constituted service offerings and port of calls, as well as mergers and acquisitions, the total transhipment containers handled were lesser at 3.3 million TEUs.
As for conventional cargoes, Westports handled 5.4 million tonnes of throughput with higher volume recorded in the dry bulk segment.
“At Westports, we experienced the transition from the phasing-out of Ocean 3 services to the gradual phasing-in of Ocean Alliance services. We have also secured a service from THE Alliance. The industry’s recent and ongoing mergers and acquisitions could also affect our container volume handled, especially of transhipment boxes, as the enlarged and merged entity, may select to re-assess their service offerings and port of calls,” Ruben Emir Gnanalingam, the Chief Executive Officer of Westports, said.
“Due to all these ongoing changes, we expect our container throughput to be lower for this year when compared to the previous year,” Gnanalingam added.