KUCHING (April 17): Businesses are calling on shipping and port authorities not to apply surcharge as a result of the congestion at the Senari Port due to the recent computer system damage.
Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) Kota Sentosa branch in a statement today said the congestion was not caused by the businesses themselves, and the surcharge may end up affecting their financial performance.
Because of that, PSB Kota Sentosa branch said, the consignees of incoming goods through the Senari Port “need urgent help”.
“Yesterday (Friday), many companies that have been affected by the recent increase of Port Emergency Congestion surcharge are worried that it will affect their financial performance,” it said.
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According to PSB Kota Sentosa branch, many consignees in Kota Sentosa areas have received notification from shipping companies that they will be charging the Port Emergency Congestion surcharge for 20-feet container and 40-feet container at RM310 and RM620, respectively.
It said the branch leader Datuk Lau Pang Heng had received 12 phone calls from businessmen who had expressed their concerns on this issue.
“The goods imported were prior to customers’ orders where prices and delivery time have been fixed. In view of this, businessmen are very concerned, despite the pandemic difficult time, they may lose money with the additional surcharge and delay in delivery penalty by their customers,” pointed out the statement.
PSB Kota Sentosa branch said many importers had been complaining about the mass delay in clearing their cargoes from the port authorities in the last three weeks due to the computer system issue at the Senari Port.
It added that clearance of cargoes in the past weeks were manually processed which had caused many difficulties to the businessmen.
On Apr 9, Stampin MP Chong Chieng Jen highlighted the Senari Port’s computer system malfunction by pointing out that this had resulted in the rate of retrievals of containers from the Port reducing by more than 50 per cent as the process of container receiving and delivery had to be done manually.
On Apr 10, Minister of Infrastructure and Ports Development Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Masing said KPA was doing its best to fix the damage to the Port’s computer system caused by water entering its electronic conduit.
The Deputy Chief Minister had assured that the repair would be done within the next couple of days.
On Apr 11, Chong said he did not buy the reason for the system breakdown at the Senari Port given by Masing, adding: “Don’t treat us like fools, we don’t buy that. Just tell us the reason (for the system breakdown). Don’t tell me there is no backup, and software does not get damaged by water.”
On Apr 13, Kuching Port Authority general manager Robert Lau in a statement said the situation at Senari Port had returned to normal after the restoration of its computer system following an outage, causing incidences of delay in its container delivery.
“By today (Apr 13), the volume of delivery and receiving has returned to the normal volume before the accident,” he said.