PUTRAJAYA, April 11 — Malaysia’s central database of Maritime Single Window (MMSW) will be ready by the third quarter of this year, Transport Minister Anthony Loke said today.

He said by the end of the year, the MMSW system would be implemented first at the Klang and Johor ports.

“The direction that we are taking is we will get the approval of the Cabinet, whereby the Transport Ministry will be the lead agency in building the MSW system so that we can firstly, fulfil the obligation to International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and secondly it will definitely help increase efficiency the ports.

“We hope that this will help reduce bureaucracy, increase the effectiveness of our ports, cut down operational time and lighten the cost burden for shippers,” Loke told a press conference after chairing the National Logistics Task Force (NLTF) meeting here.


Based on the convention’s resolution, all IMO member states are required to develop their MSW by January 1, 2024, to enable all information needed for the public authorities in connection with the arrival, stay and departure of ships, people, and cargo to be transmitted in an electronic system.

The MMSW is a unified digital platform to facilitate trade and shipping services at the national level and currently, there is no single window system in the country, Loke said.

“The MMSW is a central digital database that will facilitate end-to-end information flow which creates value for industry players and government agencies. It serves as a one-stop portal through a single sign-on and single submission for maritime regulatory and port services transactions.


“The MMSW will help resolve issues of redundancies where businesses have to submit the same information to multiple agencies. Processing international trade through a single window reduces cargo release time, cost of doing business and increases competitiveness and efficiency,” he said adding that this will also reduce red tape and improve efficiency, allowing the government to deliver a more customer-friendly experience to businesses.

Another issue raised during the NLTF meeting was the unregulated shipping container depots in the country, Loke said.

“This is a long-standing issue in the logistics industry. So far, there has yet to be a monitoring system on the container depots, so when there is no monitoring system, disputes arise between the shippers and shipping line, who should pay for charges.

“There are also disputes regarding the level of services, whereby many lorries that enter the depots to fetch the containers, there is a long waiting time, and there are charges to be paid by hauliers.

“These disputes have been around for a long time but here has been no solution. So, we have discussed regarding this and with the feedback that we have received, they have asked that the government conduct a monitoring system,” Loke said.

The request by stakeholders was that the government introduce a legal framework whereby charges can be monitored and in terms of service standards.

“If they can’t meet the service standards, the government through the Land Public Transport Agency can impose fines on the container depot operators,” he said.

The transport ministry has also taken into account concerns about chronic shortages of haulage drivers and will facilitate multi-ministerial efforts to assist them, Loke said.

“There have been requests to allow foreigners to be recognised as drivers, but they want to train more locals, especially drivers who work in the ports, they don’t have e-licences, but they can drive trailers.

“So we can train them so that they can obtain e-licences, so that when they are outside of the ports, they have the option to work as trailer drivers,” he added.

According to data provided by the transport ministry, the country, as of 2022 has only 12,326 drivers, however, there are 61,616 trailers and 16,465 prime movers belonging to 766 haulage companies as of 2022.