Northport traces its origins to the historic Port Swettenham and it is from here that the port flourished and developed from its humble beginnings in 1901. Coastal streamers were trading between the Straits settlements and Selangor in the 1800’s, calling at a small port off Port Klang, then 19km up the muddy Klang River where only ships drawing less than 3.9m of water could come up the jetty. The transformation of the port with plans and developments of better port facilities and infrastructure began when the river port thrived as trade increased.

September 15, 1901 saw the official opening of Port Swettenham (named after a High Commissioner for the Malay State), which developed as a new port after a study found that its coastal area had a harbour with deep anchorage, free from dangers and very suitable for wharves. Its development was accelerated further with the extension of a railway line from Kuala Lumpur to the new port.

In the same year when all the work was completed, the port facilities were handed over to the Ways and Works Department of the Malayan Railway Administration (MRA) who was made responsible for the port and its administration.

Between 1901 and 1910, trade grew rapidly and two ocean wharves were made to meet increasing demand for more facilities. Upon completion of the wharves in 1914, it was added to the other existing facilities, which included three wharves, go-downs, railway sidings, Customs house, warehouses and other port facilities.

In 1955, the port's throughput touched the one million tonne mark for the first time in its history. The 1960's witnessed the dawning of a new era for the port. There was a paramount need for additional and better deepwater harbour facilities. In the same year, the construction of a new deepwater port at North Klang Straits begun and thus, Northport was born. For some time, the port's rapid growth had prompted calls for a separate administration. So the Railway formed the Port Swettenham Advisory Board (PSAB) to advise on the administration of the port.

On 1 July 1963, a milestone in the new era for Port Klang was established. The management of the port passed from the Malayan Railway to the newly established Port Swettenham Authority, which subsequently was changed to Port Klang Authority (PKA).

The port then provided about 40,000 direct and indirect jobs in operational activities such as cargo handling, pilotage, fire services, security, shipping and forwarding at the North and South Ports. It was a far cry from the days when the only labour force was contract labour.

In 1964, PKA commenced commercial operations with the completion of four new wharves. PKA took over all cargo handling services, previously provided by three private labour contractors. With the absorption of the private companies' employees, the PKA's population swelled to over 5,550, making it the single largest employer in the Klang area.

In June 1972, construction of the RM87 million container terminal was completed. Facilities included an 853m wharf (comprising 3 wharves), a container freight station, three warehouses, three quay cranes and eight straddle carriers. In November 1972, Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak declared the container terminal open.

In August 1973, MV Tokyo Bay made history as the first full container vessel docked at Port Klang, marking the beginning of containerisation in Malaysia. In May 1974, the Second North Port Extension project, which involved the construction of six more wharves for break bulk cargo and a dry bulk cargo terminal began. The project was implemented in two phases. The first phase involved the construction of three wharves (No. 16 - 18) and a dry bulk cargo wharf. Phase two involved the construction of another three break bulk wharves (No. 19 - 21). Phase one was completed in 1977.

In November 1980, work began on phase two of the Second North Port Extension project involving the construction of three more break-bulk cargo wharves (No. 19 - 21) at the cost of RM55 million. Construction was completed in 1983. In October 1982, construction works on the RM8 million liquid bulk terminal in North Port was completed.

PKA's container terminal became the first major port facility to be privatised on 17 March 1986. The new operator of the terminal was Klang Container Terminal (KCT), a private company with equity held by the PKA (49%) and Konnas Terminal Klang (51%).

In October 1998, merger between KCT and KPM entered into an operational collaboration under the NORTHPORT banner with the launch of the new logo to symbolise the alliance.

On July 27, 2001, KCT changed its name to Northport (Malaysia) Bhd to reflect a new corporate identity. On 1st November 2001, KCT and KPM were successfully merged under the Northport brand name and embarked on an intensive branding exercise to create brand identity. The unions of KCT and KPM were subsequently merged as well.

In March 2007, Northport celebrated its 21 years of privatisation. The highlight of the event was the Northport’s Anniversary Gala Dinner officiated by the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

On 24 February 2014, the Deputy Minister of Transport Malaysia, Datuk Ab. Aziz Kaprawi, officiated the launching of Wharf 8A, Northport’s latest wharf infrastructure which is part of Container Terminal 4 (CT4). This state-of-the-art infrastructure has the ability to berth bigger vessels, provide higher container handling capacity and improve productivity.

In January 2016, Northport became the latest member of MMC Group following the acquisition of NCB Holdings Bhd (NCB) by MMC Port Holdings Sdn Bhd (a wholly-owned subsidiary of MMC Corporation Berhad).

In December 1992, Klang Port Management (KPM) took over the rest of the port services from PKA under the second phase of the privatisation programme and on August 26, 1993, KPM's container terminal, Klang Port Container Terminal (KPCT), commenced operation.

September 2000 saw a restructuring exercise by PNB to consolidate the port and logistics business resulting in the birth of NCB Holdings Bhd which owns 100% of KCT and 100% of Kontena Nasional (KN).

On April 29, 2005, the Prime Minister, Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi officiated the launching of Container Terminal 3 (CT3). CT3 offers 534 metres long linear quayline stretching from Wharves 12 to 14 with a depth of 15 metres and can accommodate the largest container ships afloat.

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