MoT has expressed commitment towards MNSC’s urging of government intervention and support on shipper shortage issue
KUALA LUMPUR (22 June 2021) – According to a news report by Focus Malaysia, Datuk Isham Ishak, Secretary General of the Ministry of Transport Malaysia (MoT) has expressed commitment to resolve issues on shipper shortages in areas within the ministry’s purview following MNSC’s urgent plea for government support and intervention.
Due to the global shortage of containers and vessels that continue to impact Malaysian cargo ships, the Malaysian National Shippers’ Council (MNSC) has asked the government for support to intervene with the shortage so that the country’s shippers can continue to carry cargo to key trade routes like Europe, China, Oceania (Australia and New Zealand), the United States and Japan.
According to a news report, based on a recent survey by the MNSC, the shortage issue has been causing Malaysian shippers to accept any available shipping service at premium rates, or utilise air freights for urgent shipments.
“Naturally, freight rates ended up skyrocketing to historical high rates of US$6,000 to US$10,000 per container, compared to the previous US$55 to US$300 in pre-pandemic times,” the report stated.
It added that the container and vessel shortages have a ripple effect causing a myriad of supply chain problems including port congestions and have impacted trade and eventually will impact consumers worldwide.
‘Throughout its continuous efforts to improve ports’ efficiencies through innovations, the ministry promotes discussions and incubations of new ideas among federal ports through a dedicated platform, allowing substantive engagements to be taken in a more coordinated manner,” it stated.
According to Datuk Andy Seo, Chairman of MNSC, the organization is convinced that this platform will enhance efficiencies not only for ports and logistics service providers, but also for shippers through harmonized regulatory measures.
“MNSC looks forward to the full realization of this initiative which will greatly facilitate Malaysian seaports to achieve their full potential,” Seo said.
The report added that the ministry is also assisting shippers to pursue alternative modes of transportation via land and air, which includes exploring the feasibility of a single land checkpoint at the Malaysia-Thailand border and encouraging airlines to utilise passenger flights for transportation of goods in the lower deck of passenger aircrafts. There are also talks of Malaysia reintroducing its own containerized national flag vessels and local steel manufacturers to explore the production of shipping containers.
“We commend the prompt action by MOT in mitigating the impact of the issues faced by shippers and thank the Ministry for the strong support and assistance rendered during this critical time,” Seo said.