AMANN Shipping Group Sdn Bhd (Amann Shipping) has intensified its operations in its bid to support the Brunei Government's initiative to further reduce logistics costs and improve connectivity.
Amann Shipping is gearing up to offer better connectivity and a more regular sailing between Muara and other ports in the region, the company said in a statement.
Amann Shipping is the operating company of Marzuq Holdings Limited (Marzuq), a joint venture company between the Ministry of Finance's Strategic Development Capital and Go-Wide Shipping Holding Limited from Hong Kong which was incorporated in May 2014.
The joint venture is a significant effort to speed up the country's economic diversification programme and to create new employment opportunities to the local people.
Established in July 2014, Amann Shipping aims to assist in developing the shipping industry in Brunei Darussalam and also to act as a platform to improve the import and export sectors.
Subsequently its container liner subsidiary, Amann Shipping Container Line Sdn Bhd (ASCL) was established in December 2014.
The national shipping line is expected to reduce freight and logistics costs in the country and create a more competitive logistics industry that will promote the development of local businesses and attract more foreign direct investments.
The establishment of Amann Shipping as well as the Ease of Doing Business measures undertaken by the government are expected to benefit local businesses including foreign direct investment (FDI) companies and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to increase trade activities with Asean member countries.
In Brunei Darussalam, the potential of maritime transport and logistics sector are yet to be fully unlocked.
As a consumer nation, the Sultanate is a market for foreign goods where majority of consumer products is imported.
The country's dependence on foreign vessels to bring in goods into and also to export its goods from the country has resulted in Brunei's local businesses paying higher freight charges compared to other economies in the region.
The other challenge faced by local businesses is when goods are imported into the country, private shipping lines would normally have to make other port calls in the region to maximise available freight spaces before discharging their cargoes at Muara Port. This arrangement not only prolongs the sea journey but also adds extra cost to the final price of the goods which the local consumers have to bear eventually.
ASCL hopes that the local freight forwarding companies will respond positively by lowering the costs on their part, to satisfy their customers and build long-term relationship with them. This could be achieved by coming up with different logistics solutions, offering value added services and improving their internal efficiency.
The new shipping line is expected to boost industrial and commercial activities by increasing the import and export activities at Muara Port. The local service and logistics industry which include pick-up, storage, handling, delivery and transportation services also stand to gain from this initiative.
This will further contribute to the development of Muara Port as a regional hub for maritime transportation in the future.
ASCL currently employs eight locals comprising two executives and four management personnel. With expansion plans in the pipeline, the company is expected to provide more jobs to locals as it continues to grow in the coming years, taking centre stage in the regional maritime industry.
Source: Ministry of Finance Brunei Darussalam