The government has allowed all ports under its jurisdiction to resume import and export activities effective Wednesday (April 29), says Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong (pic).
The Transport Minister said companies granted approval by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (Miti) would be allowed to operate within the policies of the National Security Council (NSC).
He said the decision was in line with the government’s decision on Tuesday (April 28) to restart and revive the economic supply chain, and to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.
This was based on recommendations by the National Economic Action Council (NEAC) in order to save jobs, ensure there was income and inspire investors’ confidence, he explained.
“This decision allows companies with the necessary approvals to resume full operations according to the needs of their respective industries,” Dr Wee said in a statement on Tuesday.
He said approved companies must operate by adhering to strict guidelines for workers’ health and safety, including practising social distancing and good hygiene.
“This also applies to those conducting import and export activities at container ports, which will be allowed to operate 24 hours per day, both for essential and non-essential goods,” he said.
He added that the government would continue to monitor the Covid-19 situation to determine when to allow the resumption of all other economic sectors and sub-sectors within NSC’s guidelines.
The ministry previously allowed certain ports to let freight forwarding, hauliers and other relevant companies clear their goods from ports between April 20 and April 23.
Dr Wee said during the recently concluded port-clearing exercises, participating ports in Port Klang, Johor, Penang, Kuantan, Melaka, Bintulu and Labuan and other state-owned ports in Sabah and Sarawak had cleared containers congesting them according to standard operating procedures (SOPs) and health guidelines mandated under the movement control order (MCO).
On the import side, he said congestion in container yards at the ports of Penang, Tanjung Pelepas, Kuantan, Bintulu, Labuan, Sibu, Kuching, Miri and Sandakan had been reduced to between 20% and 50% of their respective total capacities, while for Pasir Gudang, Northport, and Tawau ports, congestion was recorded at 50% to 60%.
“Due to relatively high container traffic, Westports and Tanjung Bruas continue to record higher congestion above 70%.
“In export container yards, Pasir Gudang, Kuantan, Labuan, Sibu and Sandakan ports recorded congestion below 50%. Westports stood at between 50% and 60%, while Tanjung Bruas and Miri ports were at 70% capacity.
“The difference in capacities recorded between the import and export-side container yards is believed to be due to lower production output for export by factories that are not operating at their full capacities during the MCO,” he said.
He added that the ministry would continue to monitor the logistics and transportation situation affecting companies during the MCO.
He said it would also recommend policies that would reduce obstruction to economic activities as much as possible.