Malaysian port seeks 20% to 30% rise in port tariffs

Bintulu Port Holdings, the operator of Sarawak’s Bintulu Port wants to raise tariffs for containers and general cargo by between 20% and 30% and will be seeking approval from Malaysia’s Federal Government, local reports said.

CEO Mior Ahmad Baiti Mior Lub noted that the container tariffs were last revised in 1999, while the general cargo tariffs had not been adjusted since 1983.

Proposals on the tariff revision had been sent to the port regulator Bintulu Port Authority (BPA) early this year, but these had not been sent on to the Federal Government yet, although they were supposed to have been handed in to the authorities in July.

Mior Ahmad said the proposed tariff revision was long overdue, as the operational cost in the handling of general cargo and containerised cargo had gone up substantially over the years.

In August Westports, the main port operator in the Malaysia’s gateway container terminal in Port Klang, was given approval for a 15% rise in container tariffs in two stages.

Bintulu International Container Terminal handled 270,495 teu in 2014 but volume for Bintulu Port has dropped by nearly 12% this year from the year before.

“The drop is mainly due to fewer timber products, like plywood, veneer and sawn timber, being shipped abroad and a drop in transhipment cargo from Miri and Sibu. This trend is expected to continue,” he added. Bintulu Port also handles transhipment cargo from Sabah. 

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