Traders who deal with clients in Malaysia know the significance of Port Klang, and if you have ever done so, you would know too! The port deals most of the cargo traffic in the country. The development of the port has been astounding over the decades. It has been continuing to contribute to world trade and the economic development of its home country. These are the reasons why the news of vessel congestion at the port took everyone by surprise! As the PKA (Port Klang Authorities) report, they started encountering congestion in the mid of November 2020. The Westport and the Northport have been majorly affected by this sudden rush of events!
Captain K. Subramaniam, the General Manager at PKA, stated that this vessel congestion is not just affecting the port at Klang but the ports in that region. These types of congestions are very rare in the international market. So, you must know everything about these kinds of unexpected and inevitable situations to learn your role as a trader. The better you understand your industry, the higher will be your chances of dealing with them.
Shipping ports handle millions of cargo arriving and departing from the terminals.
Port Klang Vessel Congestion: A Brief Report
Port Klang started observing a situation of vessel congestion in November 2020 and things got difficult by December, capturing a lot of concern in the industry. Here are the highlights of the situations reported by the port authorities.
- The authorities explained how the delays caused at the preceding ports of a vessel’s journey led to this congestion. Vessels failed to arrive at their scheduled time and then reached the port all at once when the capacity was full!
- Weather also has a crucial role to play in this fiasco. Monsoon causes the most trouble as vessels have to rest on connecting ports of Singapore, China and the U.S.A. It started taking 2-4 days for a vessel to find its berth at the port for unloading.
- The high demand for container slots at the Chinese ports led the shipping lines to cancel most of the booking of Port Klang, leading to more container congestion at the port. All the export containers were lined up there!
- Consignees of dainty and perishable goods like vegetables, fruits, chemicals, etc., had to wait for seven days to get their cargo when it used to take one!
Measures Taken By The Port Authorities
The government officials, customs department, port authorities and workers have been handling the situation with utmost supervision. As reported by the General Manager, the on-spot measures are going on while the internal discussion with shipping lines and preceding ports is active.
- The officials are coordinating with the consignees and importers to collect their cargo.
- The workers are trying to utilise the free and open spaces around the port to turn them into shipping yards and store the export containers there. This action is helping in freeing up space at the bay!
- The inspection process of both imports and exports have been boosted as more officials are taken in to complete the process.
- For better clearance efficiency, the customs department has hired more laborers and professionals to look after the situation.
- The demurrage and detention period has been also reduced by the ports to ensure that exporters and importers collect their cargo on time. Every person in the entire chain of this clearance process is working it up to lighten up the burden.
Role of Traders & Shippers To Extend Help
You and every other persona associated with the shipping business as frontline players must have the idea of how to balance circumstances like this. How would you help the port authorities to serve you better? Here are a few tips you must follow to overcome the problems.
- You must not delay with the Bill of Entry or any of the import or export customs clearance formalities. If you keep your cargo stacked on the port before getting the clearance, it will occupy the space unnecessarily. Try to cooperate with the ports and hire a reliable CHA to make things easier for you!
- Collect the cargo from the port delivery right after it gets unloaded. A few traders tend to use the demurrage and detention period, even when it is possible to get the goods.
- Keep contacting the port officials if your cargo becomes a part of this kind of congestion in future.
The vessel congestion situation at Port Klang is not the first and only one in the history of international trade. U.S ports, China ports and other major ports around the world have also encountered these situations with the help of government authorities and the cooperation of traders. You should take this observation as a learning lesson to understand how to handle things if your cargo gets into such troubles. After all, you cannot predict the certain turn of events in the shipping business!