Cargo Services

Cargo handling has been the backbone of Penang Port since the first settlement established by Captain Francis Light in 1786 grew and prospered as a trading centre and a free port. Today, after more than 4 centuries of growth and development, Penang Port offers a complete array of facilities to handle nearly all types of non-containerised cargo in their natural form. Non-containerised cargo mainly consists of 3 cargo types i.e. break-bulk, dry-bulk and liquid-bulk. Penang Port provides dedicated facilities located on the mainland such as the Butterworth Wharves, Perai Bulk Cargo Terminal, Perai Wharf to handle these cargoes in the most efficient and safest way possible to the satisfaction of all port users and stakeholders. From handling 1.25 million tonnes of cargo in 1950 and 2 million tonnes in 1960, Penang Port has grown rapidly to handle nearly 30 million tonnes of cargo in 2013.

 

BREAK-BULK

Break-bulk handling is primarily undertaken at Butterworth Wharves, a terminal completed in 1969 at a cost of RM60 million. Located on the mainland, Butterworth Wharves is capable of handling 2.5 million tonnes of cargo per annum. It offers a linear berth with a length of 1.05km with the following design characteristics:

BERTH
DEPTH
(In METERS)
MAXIMUM
DWT
MAXIMUM ARRIVAL DISPLACEMENT
(In TONNES)
W1
10
25,000
40,000
W2
10
25,000
40,000
W3
9
25,000
40,000
W4
9
25,000
40,000
W5
9
25,000
40,000
W6
9
25,000
40,000

In 2013, Penang Port handled nearly 1.26 million tonnes of break-bulk cargo. The major break-bulk commodities handled are iron and steel packages, wood mouldings, rice, iron and steel billets, machineries and components as well as asbestos products. These commodities either originated or were destined to and from the entire hinterland of Penang Port that stretches from the south of Thailand to northern Perak. Major players in the break-bulk market are Ann Joo Steel, Southern Steel, Siam FibreBoard, Dongwha Global Sales and Bernas among others.

Butterworth Wharves has a land mass of nearly 60.7 hectares that houses transits warehouses, storage warehouses and open spaces. Combined warehouse space is approximately 38,000m2 capable of holding nearly 50,000m3 of cargo at any one time. Butterworth Wharves is also equipped with various types of cargo handling equipment such as forklifts, prime movers and trailers to expedite operations. Linkages to the national highways and the national railway grid provide excellent connectivity to its hinterlands. Penang Port’s break-bulk handling performance standards are ISO certified.

 

DRY-BULK

Under the Third Malaysia Plan (1975 - 1980), a dedicated bulk cargo terminal was built to handle both dry and liquid bulks. Located south of the Perai Power Station and to the north of the 1st Penang Bridge, it cost the government around RM48.79 million to build back then. Named the Perai Bulk Cargo Terminal or PBCT in short, it came with 5 berths and measured 632 metres in length is capable of handling 3.9 million tonnes of cargo per annum. 500 metres of berth is utilized for normal dry-bulk cargo while the remaining 132 metres of berth is used for handling Dangerous Goods (DG) in either liquid or gaseous state. An inner berth measuring 154 metres in length allows for the handling of both dry and liquid bulk cargo. The design characteristics of the berths in PBCT are as follows:

BERTH
DEPTH
(In METERS)
MAXIMUM
DWT
MAXIMUM ARRIVAL DISPLACEMENT
(In TONNES)
BCT1
11
50,000
66,667
BCT2
11
25,000
33,300
BCT3
11
50,000
66,667
INNER BERTH
7.5
10,000
13,333
DG BERTH
11
25,000
33,300

2013 saw more than 4.3 million tonnes of dry-bulk being handled by Penang Port (inclusive of private terminals). About 3.5 million tonnes were handled at the various Penang Port owned terminals. Nearly 67% of this tonnage was handled at PBCT alone in 2013. The remaining 33% of dry-bulk cargo or about 1.18 million tonnes, were handled both at the Butterworth Wharves and the Perai Wharf. Petronas Chemical Fertilizers operate a Urea Export Depot at Butterworth Wharves that has an export capacity of 350,000 tonnes per annum. Import of scrap metal classified as dry-bulk also takes place at Butterworth Wharves as well as PBCT. Import of coal is undertaken at Perai Wharf. Ann Joo Steel, Malayan Sugar, CIMA, Cargill(Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, Southern Steel and Petronas Chemical Fertilizers are among the biggest contributors to the dry-bulk volume in Penang Port.

PBCT, which is about 33.99 hectares in size, offers nearly 111,000m2 of covered warehouse space (both leased and rented) and about 4.6 Hectares of open stockpile area. It is also equipped with 1 gantry and 2 mobile cranes at the wharf side to expedite the discharging and loading of cargo.

Handling standards for dry-bulk cargo are also ISO certified.

 

LIQUID-BULK

The double development of the PBCT and the Vegetable Oil Tanker Pier (VOTP) under the Third Malaysian Plan (1975 – 1980) provided Penang Port with the ability to handle all types of liquid bulk both edible and non-edible and in liquid or gaseous state. PBCT’s DG berth equipped with 8 manifold arms handles all types of DG cargo in liquid and gaseous state. All liquid cargo discharged are directly piped to nearby storage facilities for storage. These storage facilities are found within the premises of the importers’ factories that are situated nearby. The development of PBCT heralded the rise of the petro-chemical industry in the Perai Industrial Zone with organizations such as Toray, Acidchem and MECI being the major players located and operating in PBCT’s vicinity.

Edible oils such vegetable oils, crude palm oil, crude palm kernel oil and refined palm oil are handled at the VOTP that is located in the south as an extension of Butterworth Wharves itself. Importers and exporters operate private tank farms within Butterworth Wharves to handle and store these oils. There are about 108 tanks providing a storage capacity of nearly 136,970 tonnes at any one time. Major players include organizations such as Wilmar Edible Oils, Butterworth Bulking Installations, Fima Palmbulk and Palmco Acid Chemical among others. The VOTP utilizes 2 berths i.e. a dolphin berth with a depth of 8 metres ACD and W2 at Butterworth Wharves. Both these berths are equipped with pipelines that directly transfer the liquid cargoes to and from the tank farms for either import or export operations respectively.

Nearly 4.94 million tonnes of liquid bulk were handled at Penang Port (inclusive of private terminals) in 2013. 44% of this tonnage was handled in Penang Port’s terminals whilst the remaining 56% or about 2.7 million tonnes were handled at private terminals operated by companies such as Chevron, Esso and Shell who together with Petronas are biggest players in the liquid bulk market. 39% of the tonnage handled in Penang Port’s terminals was edible oils.

The handling rates for liquid bulk as similar to the others above   are also ISO certified with a constraint being imposed by the pumping capacity of the available pipelines.

Penang Port’s ability to handle all the various types of bulk cargo has propelled the nation’s growth in tandem with its aspirations. Beginning with the export of commodities such as rubber and tin from the estates and the mines of Northern Malaya then to the import of raw materials and eventual production of goods in the various industrial areas and zones now, Penang Port has seen it all. From being the main transit point for passengers embarking for Hajj to immigrants coming from India then to the flocks of tourists coming now, Penang Port has experienced it all. Dynamism and the ability to adapt to changes have proven to be our strength in moving forward and keeping up with the constant changing times.