Intermodal container transport logistics to andfrom Malaysian ports Evaluation of Customer requirements and environmental effects
Abstract: Malaysian ports’ container volumes are expected to increase to 36.6 million TEUs in 2020 compare to 12 million TEUs in 2005. Almost 45% of the container volumes are local containers entering the Malaysian hinterland. The hinterland container transport movements are dominated by road haulage (90%), alongside road-rail intermodal that currently handles the remaining 10%.The aim of this research is to develop possible strategies for improving the logistics of the intermodal hinterland container transport system based on customer demand, cost-efficiency, environmental impacts and quality. Intermodal began to capture more container volumes from ports, especially Port Klang, in 1989. This was initiated by the opening of Ipoh Cargo Terminal (ICT). Other inland terminals such as Padang Besar (Perlis), Nilai Inland Port (Negeri Sembilan), Segamat Inland Port (Johore) and three other ICDs have seen a good share of intermodal movements during that time. But for the past 10 years, the intermodal share has declined.The government is concerned with the congestion, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from road haulage and security issues. The Prime Minister has pledged that by the year 2020, Malaysia will reduce its CO2 emissions by 40% and it is believed that intermodal could be one of the solutions to achieve this. The need to shift from road haulage to road-rail intermodal has been mentioned in Industrial Master Plan 3 (2006) and the Logistics Road Map (2009) to alleviate these problems. Intermodal hinterland container transport is a trend in many European ports to solve road haulage problems.The current hinterland container transport in Malaysia showed that the share of intermodal in Malaysia is still low. Most of the inland terminals in Malaysia are underutilised. Based on a customer survey, the major issues for customers to shift to intermodal is not only cost but also service quality. The lack of strategic policies and effective institutional aspects also contributes to make intermodal services less attractive.The Port Klang-Ipoh Corridor has a huge potential to be the main intermodal corridor in Malaysia. The case study showed that this corridor has the container volume to support intermodal services. The case study indicated a cost saving of 51% compared to direct road haulage, whereby CO2 emissions would be reduced by 36%.However, all the cost savings and reductions in CO2 emissions are not viable if there is no implementation of the most effective strategies to promote intermodal movement. The strategies include 1) introducing the Intermodal Transport Department and new policies, 2) introducing specific intermodal services, 3) setting up the green corridor concept, 4) developing a reward system for actors in intermodal transportation, 5) collaboration and coordination issues and 6) quality of service monitoring.Implementations of these strategies is vital to enhance the intermodal share in the Malaysian environment.
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