Stefan Pertz met with Nazari Hj Akhbar, newly elected president of the Association of Malaysian Hauliers after his first committee meeting where the organisation charted a new and ambitous way forward.
Having been elected as President of the association for two years on December 9th 2015, Nazari vows to “Address major issues while we also elevate the profi le of the Association of Malayisan Hauliers, known as AMH”. Having been in the industry for many years, he is known to be heading Taipanco, one of the country’s leading haulage companies. In their first committee meeting, seveal crucial points were discussed.
As per IMP3,more than 90% of the international trade is seaborne , which seaports provide the crucial interface between shipping and land transport. From the seaborne perspective , during the IMP3 period, the share of containerized cargo to the total throughput is projected to increase from 139.2 million tons, or 55.1% in 2005 to 441 million tons (58.7%) in 2020 (chapter 25,IMP3). As the inland container hauliers are an integral element of the seaborne movement of containerized cargoes, the role of the inland container haulier are vital to the nation’s industrial development.
Improving Depots According to him, several depots are not performing to the expectation and satisfaction of the members. In the case of Westport, a Memorandum was signed years ago, stipulating guaranteed loading times, opening times and penalties in case the truckers had to wait longer than the promised times. Some depots manage loading times of only 45 minutes, while others take as long as three hours to have the containers ready. Another issue is that the practice and standards for hauliers in different regions vary and not the same. Harmonization is required to ensure smoother dealings between the parties involved.
SPAD to the Task One pressuring issue AMH sees is the issuance of permit for transporters “There is no official number available as to how many licences have been issued,” Nazari explains. The association sees an increased competition that is purely price based. “Undercutting is unhealthy for our industry. There are new players that try to get any job at cut throat cost,” he stated. This, as the association believes, is leading to a dangerous situation, whereby the service cannot be in a satisfactory and more importantly safe way. AMH would like to understand how many licences are out there in order to assess if there is already an overcapacity which may not be healthy.
Driver Shortage Lamented by many, there is a severe shortage of drivers in Malaysia. The association seeks to address the question as to what it takes to attract more people to this industry. Poaching of good drivers is now rampant, but not good for the industry. Members of AMH are worried, that this situation is not sustainable. As a result, drivers may now also become more demanding to the point where their requests are adding extra stress to the company.
Infrastructure While some roads seem to rival the German Autobahn, others are in a sorry state. “Look at the roads leading to the airports. Fantastic! But then you see the highways and roads leading into many of our ports and they are not only uncomfortable to drive, but also dangerous in places,” voices Nazari. These roads are the arteries of the economy and should be better taken care of in the view of AMH as it would benefit many besides the members and other truckers.
Other Issues During the committee meeting otherissues with JPJ and Puspakom were also identified and tabled to be handled. These are on-going issues that will need further dialogues and the solutions may take a while to implement as there are many things to be considered. One of the issues that needs to be addressed is the implementation times given by JPJ at times. While AMH acknowledges that many new directives, rules, regulations and laws are indeed helping to improve the industry, implementation may be difficult as the stipulated times may require to call back entire fleets across the country, thus stopping operations.
Internal Matters The Association has also taken a critical look at their own ways and several points were noted as to how to take it to the next level. Nazari acknowledged that in the past there has been a lack of communication to the members. The website needs to be updated and overall, more activities are required. The website could actually become a portal that lists spare parts dealers and others. “We need more support from our members. But we can only get that if we give back to them,” is his claim. When it comes to certain actions, AMH may now be a bit more forceful. For instance when the AMH decided to take certain action, it requires the collaboration of all members, not just a few.
Asian Trucker would like to congratulate Nazari Hj Akhbar to his new post as the President of Association of Malaysian Hauliers and is looking forward to seeing the members move forward in the pursuit of improving the industry.