MRL inks MoU with Perodua, Kuantan Port for Potential ECRL Freight Transportation Services

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Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn Bhd (Perodua) has signed two memoranda of understanding (MOU) with Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd (MRL) and Kuantan Port Consortium Sdn Bhd (Kuantan Port) respectively, signalling potential long-term collaborations for the East Coast Rail Link’s (ECRL) freight transportation services which will come on stream by January 2027.

The formalisation of the MoU between MRL and Perodua as well as between MRL and Kuantan Port is also poised to spur various industry players to switch the movement of cargo from road to rail as the 665-km ECRL network will facilitate seamless transportation between the east and west coasts of Peninsular Malaysia.

The MoU between MRL and Perodua will explore the possibility of transporting its products to the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia to supplement the compact car maker’s growing need for logistical support.

“The inking MoU has significant meaning for MRL as we unlock ECRL’s value, not just as a viable transportation for the public but also a reliable logistic service for local and international businesses,” said MRL Chief Executive Officer, Dato’ Sri Darwis Abdul Razak.

He added, “The ECRL serves as a key enabler in enhancing regional connectivity and economic development, underpinned by its “landbridge” connecting Kuantan Port wharf to the wharves at Northport and Westports in Port Klang. This crucial ‘last-mile’ connectivity between Kuantan Port and Port Klang will streamline the transfer of goods between ports and address the issue of double-handling of cargo”.

Perodua President and Chief Executive Officer, Dato’ Sri Zainal Abidin Ahmad said, “We are looking to diversify the way we transport our products, and ECRL is a viable option to this need. This MoU will let us explore in detail all opportunities for both parties.”

“The MoU with MRL and Perodua marks a pivotal step in optimising our logistics network. Leveraging the ECRL, Kuantan Port aims to enhance connectivity and efficiency, offer competitive logistics costs and improve delivery times,” said Mr. Lee Chun Fai, Chairman of Kuantan Port and Group CEO & Managing Director of IJM Corporation Berhad.

“This strategic collaboration will enhance our logistics capabilities, establish Kuantan Port as a key gateway to the East and strengthen trade links within the region. It will facilitate smoother goods movement, support the economic development of the East Coast, and drive significant economic benefits, including job creation and enhanced trade opportunities,” he added.

MRL Chief Executive Officer, Dato’ Sri Darwis Abdul Razak, signed the MoU on behalf of the company while Perodua was represented by its President & Chief Executive Officer, Dato’ Sri Zainal Abidin Ahmad, and Kuantan Port by Mr. Lee Chun Fai, Chairman of Kuantan Port and Group CEO & Managing Director of IJM Corporation Berhad.

Today’s MoU Signing and Exchange Ceremony was witnessed by Minister of Transport, YB Loke Siew Fook, at InterContinental Kuala Lumpur.

MRL is the project owner of the 665-km ECRL will traverse through the East Coast states of Kelantan, Terengganu, and Pahang before linking the Klang Valley on the West Coast.

The ECRL rail alignment from Kota Bharu to Gombak Integrated Terminal is expected to be completed by December 2026 and operational by January 2027.

Its alignment between Gombak and Port Klang is scheduled for completion in December 2027, with full operations to commence from January 2028 onwards.

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