Transport minister: Companies given additional four days to clear cargo at ports

Wee said that to ensure smoother movement and to keep up with the day-to-day needs of households, the release of non-essential goods at major ports in the country needs to be accelerated and its development monitored over time. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Wee said that to ensure smoother movement and to keep up with the day-to-day needs of households, the release of non-essential goods at major ports in the country needs to be accelerated and its development monitored over time. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, April 4 — The Ministry of Transport (MOT) is giving companies an additional four days to allow goods stuck at major ports in the country to be removed and delivered to their final destinations promptly to ensure that incoming essential goods are not impeded.

Its minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong said this was achieved after a consultation meeting with the National Security Council (NSC) today.

Companies that kept their cargo in Port Klang, Johor, Penang, Kuantan, Melaka, Bintulu, Sarawak and Padang Besar border with Thailand are urged to immediately move all their goods out of port from Saturday, April 4, 2020 to Tuesday, April 7, 2020.

“In line with the previous decision made on March 26, 2020, this effort proved to be effective in reducing congestion at major ports of the country which have reached almost 100 percent capacity,” he said in a statement today.

Wee said that to ensure smoother movement and to keep up with the day-to-day needs of households, the release of non-essential goods at major ports in the country needs to be accelerated and its development monitored over time.

He said MOT have shared standard operating procedures (SOPs) with port operators who have previously applied for it in Sabah, Sarawak and other countries.

“This is to ensure that the supply of basic necessities is not stagnated during the Second Phase of the movement control order (MCO) effective from April 1 to April 14, 2020,” he said.

Wee also lauded the amendments made to MCO gazette today where port and airport services and operations, as well as land, water or air transport, have been reinstated as essential services.

The government today has reinstated transportation, ports, airport services, hotels and the production of fuels and lubricants as essential services, 48 hours after not including these sectors in a gazette for the second phase of the movement control order to tackle Covid-19.

These sectors were included in the gazette published for the first MCO that took effect from March 18 to March 31.

On Wednesday, the gazette for the second order, in effect from April 1 to 14, omitted these sectors and reduced the number of essential services from 22 to 10.

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