Cargotec Terminal Solutions Sdn Bhd, a well-known equipment and services provider to some of the major ports in Malaysia, expects to reap the benefit of the rising demand from the industry going forward.
Currently, the port industry has regained its momentum after much of its plan was put on hold due to the global economic crisis a few years back.
Managing director Collin Swee said that some of the major ports in Malaysia had started to regain their speed to expand and boost capacity and efficiency.
Swee says most of the people in the port and its supporting industries gained their know-how of this niche sector through experience.
“Due to this development, we are actually in a good position to grow (in tandem) with the industry’s demand that is evolving towards solutions based services and equipment.
“Traditionally, suppliers are just focused on the sales of their products but now we are spearheading the effort to assist the port to increase their efficiency, prolong the lifespan of our equipments and ultimately reduce capital expenditure or operational cost.
“This is done via equipment refurbishment, better scheduled maintenance and greener technology,” he said.
The majority of Cargotech products, services and solutions include the ship-to-shore cranes, reach stackers, rubber-tyred gantries (RTGs), port prime movers, maintenance of these equipments, refurbishment of port equipments, port management system and the latest is to retrofit existing quay cranes to cater for bigger vessels.
Its major brands are namely Kalmar, Macgregor, Hiab and Navis.
Swee added that some of the major ports in Malaysia that use it equipment and services include Port of Tanjung Pelepas, Northport and Westports.
Other than this, Swee said the company was also aware that the port industry in the country was also heading towards a greener operation to reduce carbon footprint.
“We have been heading towards this direction for quite some time already where previously our diesel-run RTGs use lesser fuel.
“Now, we have electric RTGs where not only they are environmentally friendly but cost-efficient as well on the background of increasing fuel prices,” he said.
But, according to Swee, the growth of the industry was not free from its challenges as well mainly due to shortage of skilled and experienced workforce.
“Most of the people in the port and its supporting industries gained their know-how of this niche sector through experience.
“But, we view that the port industry is not attracting or training enough of our next generation to sustain its human resources needs.For us, we find it difficult to find engineers and managers for our projects,” he said.
Realising this, Swee said Cargotech was in talks with some of the local universities and ports to attract and train more graduates to join the sector. “We are in the midst of discussions with Universiti Malaya and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia to slot in a module on the engineering aspects of a port in their engineering degree programme.
“The ports are also supportive to provide real training ground to these undergraduates and graduates.
“This is because the majority of the public do not know on how big is the port operations in this country. They have to be there to really experience the importance and catch a glimpse of port industry career paths,” he said.
Source: bintuluport, September 10, 2012; Image: cargotec