Shippers in Senari Port incident lament disruption in supply chain

A graph showing the vessel waiting time for berth at the port

KUCHING: Delays arising from the recent computer outage at Senari Port Terminal had disrupted the overall supply chain to the East Malaysian market, said shipping associations in the country.

Sarawak Shipping Association, Sarawak and Sabah Shipowners Association, Malaysian Shipowners Association and Shipping Association Malaysia, in a joint statement, said that as an illustration, many vessels had suffered delays at other East Malaysian Port following the disruption at the Senari port terminal.

“This has impacted the supply of empty containers for fresh bookings for shippers in Peninsular Malaysia as well,” they said.

They added that the computer outage on March 27 had a disastrous impact upon the port’s performance and services.

“Due to the computer outage, the number of vessels at the anchorage waiting to berth had begun to accumulate, whereby the average waiting hours to berth had increased to 82 hours for last month, an increase of 183 percent compared to 29 hours in March.

The graph shows container handling productivity at the port

“The average port’s productivity (where the Key Performance Indicator or KPI for port productivity is gross move per hour or GMPH) had dropped from 14 GMPH to nine GMPH, a reduction of 36 percent.

“Thirdly, vessels that were designed with seven round voyage days (turning around from Port Klang to Kuching back to Port Klang in seven days) were no longer capable of completing a voyage in seven days due to the port’s congestion and poor productivity.

“As a result, container shipping lines had suffered huge losses, as their operating costs had escalated. They had also suffered from the loss of sailing and revenues, their shipping service qualities to the business community were also adversely compromised.

“As such, if the port service levels are not restored expeditiously, the likelihood of the continuity of the shipping liner services to Kuching will be in question,” they said.

The shipping associations also viewed that there was an urgent need to review the entire port’s management system, including its operating model.