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International Cargo Seaport: Port Klang

Posted in International Seaport - 11 Oct 2021, 9:12 AM

Known as the main sea gateway into Malaysia, Port Klang is the biggest and busiest facility. It is an important facility in Selangor and a hub for Malaysia’s most prosperous and developed region. The port has a long history since the colonial era, making it one of the most important facilities in the country.

About the Port Klang

Port Klang is situated in Malacca Strait in the District of Klang, around 38 km southwest of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital city. The facility is run by Port Klang Authority, which response to the Klang Municipal Council. This port consists of three district ports: the South Port, the North Port, and the newly established Westport. The latter is situated on an island not far from the coast of Port Klang.

The History

Port Klang started its history in the 19th-century British colonial era as the government railway terminus and the capital of Selangor. When Selangor capital was moved from Klang to Kuala Lumpur, businesspeople and job seekers flooded the new capital. However, the transportation methods were poor and limited, resulting in the creation of a rail track and port near the river’s mouth. These transportation routes were inaugurated by Sir Frank Athelstane Swettenham on 15 September 1901, with the new port called Port Swettenham.

Two months later, the swamps and jungle around the new port were filled in and cleared when the malaria outbreak happened. It caused the trade to improve, requiring the addition of new berths and other facilities. The port activities increased between the First and Second World Wars, including facilities to store latex and palm oil.

After Malaysia’s independence, Port Swettenham Authority was changed into Port Klang Authority. The facilities were further expanded in the 1960s and 1970s to handle more cargo and containers. Now, it has become the stop for containers and cargos from over 120 countries.

Volume of Transactions in Port Klang

This port is currently the 12th busiest port globally, although it will reach the top ten. In 2020, its transaction volumes reached the numbers of 13.24 million TEUs. During the first quarter of 2021, Westport alone reported 3 percent of increase in its gateway volume, with 2.66 million TEUs of transaction volumes. This number is expected to rise for all the ports as the economy starts to rise.

Interesting Facts

Port Klang’s facilities are used to stock aluminum for London Metal Exchange. Westport is also close to Port Klang Cruise Centre, a passenger port that serves both cruise ships and naval ships. There is also a mangrove-covered island called Pulau Ketam (Crab Island) just off the coast of Westport, a popular destination for seafood and nature trips.

Port Klang is situated close to ferry ports, carrying travelers to Kuala Lumpur and other popular destinations. The cargo port is also close to several Hindu temples, and the streets nearby become the locations for the Chithirai Pournami Festival procession. Despite not being a tourism spot, the area around Port Klang has a lot of seafood and Hokkien restaurants. Many of them were built on the side of the roads or stilts above the water.

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