Perhaps stung into action by the imminent lifting of Malaysian cabotage restrictions, domestic-focussed lines Shin Yang Shipping and Harbour-Link have teamed up with MMC Ports unit and major west coast hub port operator Northport to form a strategic alliance.

The East Malaysia Network or TEAM Network is aimed at achieving economies of scale through sharing of resources such as vessels, terminals arrangements and networks, the companies said in a press release.

The MoU to seal the agreement was signed by Northport ceo Azman Shah Mohd Yusof, Shin Yang Shipping ceo Ting Hien Liong and Harbour-Link group md Francis Yong.

The deal is expected to increase shipping service frequency through schedule alignment between Miri-based Shin Yang and Bintulu-based Harbour-Link.

The consolidation of vessel capacity will also bring greater economies of scale with optimised deployment of vessels and a wider port coverage,  resulting in a reduction of operating expenses as well as optimisation of capital expenditure for both shipping lines, while Northport’s high terminal productivity will provide efficient and effective port services to serve the lines.

“The strengths of Northport, Shin Yang and Harbour-Link will be consolidated to jointly and effectively manage the shipping industry demands through strategic planning of our resources,” said Azman.

“Under the TEAM Network strategic alliance, Northport is expected to provide an efficient and effective port service to the shipping lines. The alliance is expected to benefit significantly from the synergies derived from within the MMC Ports’ group through its integrated logistics value proposition” added Azman.