Post FCZ - What’s The Next Step For Penang Port?

26 MARCH 2021, BY

The Free Zone is one of Penang Port’s healthy undertakings to augment the port’s performance and trading prowess as a whole. Worthy of the port’s milestone, the Free Zone is comprised of two main focus; The Free Commercial Zone (FCZ), which sees commercial activities such as trading (except retail trading), break bulk, grading, repacking, relabeling, and transit. On the other hand, the Free Industrial Zone (FIZ) becomes the focal point for manufacturing activities.

Since the North Butterworth Container Terminal (NBCT) became a Free Commercial Zone (FCZ), Penang Port’s effort is pooled into optimising how the port now operates -- of course, with more opportunities and more to be done. Now that the gazettement of NBCT as FCZ invites the positive growth of the northern region’s economy, Penang Port sets its sights on one of its main markets.

The Bay of Bengal (BOB). Strategically located in the North of Malaysia, linking to the straits of Malacca, is one of the most desired option to connect its market to Penang Port. Based on market research in 2020, the volume from BOB stands around an impressive 8.1 million TEUs. As such, Penang Port Sdn Bhd (Penang Port) welcomes this opportune moment to reach BOB. Among the plans are to promote Penang Port as transit to tranship cargos from BOB towards the Far East Countries.

A recent briefing with the North Malaysia Shipping Agents Association (NMSAA) and the Shipping Association of Malaysia (SAM) on 12th March 2021 had been a productive exchange, as the parties convened and discussed the tariffs, procedure of transhipment, process-flow and prohibition of imports.

“The discussion with NMSAA and SAM allowed us to pave our roadmap into increasing the productivity of the FCZ area. For now, we are keeping our focus on ensuring the security of our facilities, as well as prioritising our efforts to keep promoting the transhipment activities to our port users”. Said Mr Mohd Syukhran bin Marzukhi, Head Commercial of Penang Port Sdn Bhd.

Since 1st March 2021, Penang Port is now ready to encourage transhipment activities at NBCT and is presently compiling all applicable SOPs for the shipping lines.

Figure 1: Transhipment Process-Flow at North Butterworth Container Terminal