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Port Klang
Pelabuhan Klang
Port Swettenham
—  Town  —
Port Klang is located in Malaysia
Port Klang
Coordinates: 3°0′0″N 101°24′0″E / 3°N 101.4°E / 3; 101.4
Country Malaysia
State Selangor
District Klang
 - Municipal Council Klang Municipal Council
 - Local Authority Port Klang Authority
Area [1]
 - Total 573 km2 (221.2 sq mi)
Time zone MST (UTC+8)
Postcode 42000
Dialling code +60 3
Police Port Klang, Pulau Ketam and Pandamaran
Fire Northport, Port Klang

Port Klang (Malay: Pelabuhan Klang; formerly known as Port Swettenham) is a town and main gateway by sea into Malaysia[2]. Formerly known as Port Swettenham, it is also the location of the largest and busiest port in the country. The town's progress is greatly influenced by the port activities in its area. Port Klang is located in the district of Klang within the state of Selangor. It is located about 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) southwest of Klang, and 38 kilometres (24 mi) southwest of Kuala Lumpur.

Located in the Klang District, it was the 13th busiest transshipment port (2004) and the 16th busiest container port (2007) in the world. It was also the 26th busiest port in terms of total cargo tonnage handled in 2005.



Klang was formerly the terminus of the government railway and the port of the State[3]. In 1880, the state capital of Selangor was moved from Klang to the more strategically advantageous Kuala Lumpur[4]. Rapid development at the new administrative centre in the late 1800s attracted businessmen and job seekers alike from Klang. At this time the only methods of transport between Klang and Kuala Lumpur were by horse or buffalo drawn wagons, or boat ride along the Klang River to Damansara. Due to this Frank Swettenham stated to Selangor's British Resident at the time, William Bloomfield Douglas[5], that the journey to Kuala Lumpur was "rather long and boring"[6]. He continued to suggest a train line be built as an alternative route.

In September 1882, Sir Frank Athelstane Swettenham was appointed Selangor’s new Resident. Swettenham initiated a rail link between Klang and Kuala Lumpur to overcome the transport problems particularly of the tin mining interests, who needed to convey the ore to Klang's port, Pelabuhan Batu[7]. Twenty two miles of rail track from Kuala Lumpur to Klang was opened in September 1886, and extended to the estuary of the Klang River in the same year[8][9]. The river navigation, however, was difficult as only ships drawing less that 3.9 metres (13 ft) of water could come up the jetty, and thus a new port was selected near the mouth of the river as the anchorage was good. Developed by the Malayan Railway and officially opened 15 years later in 15 September 1901 by Swettenham himself, the new port was named Port Swettenham.

Under British rule

Map of Port Swettenham in 1954. This area is now known as Southpoint.

Both Klang and Port Swettenham were already known as notoriously malaria prone localities with the port itself located on a mangrove swamp. Within two months of its opening, the port was closed due to an outbreak of malaria[10][11]. Just a few years before, Britain's Sir Ronald Ross proved in 1897 that malaria is transmitted by mosquitoes. Port Swettenham was the first colonial area to benefit from the discovery[12]. Swamps were filled in, jungle cleared, and surface water diverted to destroy mosquito breeding grounds and combat further disruption to port operations. The threat of malaria was removed completely by the end of the exercise. Trade grew rapidly and two new berths were added by 1914 along with other port facilities. The Selangor Polo Club was founded in Port Swettenham in 1902 but it moved to Kuala Lumpur in 1911[13].

Between World Wars I and II the port experienced much growth and expansion, peaking in 1940 when tonnage rose to 550,000 tonnes. During the Second World War allied aircraft were serviced by RAF Servicing Commandos at airfields in Port Swettenham[14]. Its location is marked on a 1954 map by the United States Army. Much of the port's facilities that were damaged during the war were reconstructed. The port expanded to the south with permanent installations to handle more palm oil and latex, two increasingly important exports. Imports also grew tremendously and tonnage of cargo handled at the port far exceeded what was thought possible before the war[15].


On 1 July 1963 the Malaysian government established the Port Swettenham Authority, which subsequently was changed to Port Klang Authority as a statutory corporation to take over the administration of Port Klang from the Malayan Railway Administration. In the late 1960s and 1970s new deepwater berths were constructed with wharves suitable for handling container as well as conventional cargoes. The Royal Selangor Yacht Club was first registered here as "Port Swettenham Yacht Club" in July 1969[16]. In November 1972, Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak declared the container terminal open and in May 1974, construction of seven more berths for bulk cargo began and was completed in 1983. In October 1982, construction of the liquid bulk terminal in North Port was completed.

On 17 March 1986 the container terminal facilities operated by Port Klang Authority was privatised to Klang Container Terminal Berhad as part of the privatisation exercise of the government. In January, 1988, construction work began on a new 800 feet (240 m) berth, as an alternative to the immediate development of West Port[15]. A government in directive 1993 has identified Port Klang to be developed into the National Load Centre. Port Klang has since grown and now establishes trade connections with over 120 countries and dealings with more than 500 ports around the world[17].

Local governance

A container being loaded on a prime mover in Northport.

Port Klang Authority

The Port Klang Authority administers three ports in the Port Klang area namely Northport, Southpoint and Westport. Prior to the establishment of the Port Klang Authority, South Port was the only existing port and was administered by the Malayan Railway Administration. Both Westport and Northport have been privatized and managed as separate entities.

The total capacity of the port is 109,700,000 tons of cargo in 2005 compared to 550,000 tons in 1940[18].

Klang Municipal Council

Port Klang is under the jurisdiction of the Klang Municipal Council (MPK). It is represented in the Parliament by the Member of Parliament for Klang, Mr. Charles Santiago. In the State Assembly of Selangor, the township is represented by Mr. Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew, the state assemblyman for Pandamaran.

Port operators


Northport is owned and operated by Northport (Malaysia) Bhd and comprises dedicated multipurpose port facilities and services. The Northport entity was a merger of two companies; Kelang Container Terminal (KCT) and Kelang Port Management (KPM). Its operations also cover South Port, which was renamed Southpoint for conventional cargo handling, and acquired Northport Distripark Sdn Bhd (NDSB) as part of its logistics division.


Westport is managed by Westports Malaysia Sdn Bhd (formerly known as Kelang Multi Terminal Sdn Bhd). A passenger port, The Star Cruises Terminal, opened in December 1995[19] at Pulau Indah which is located next to the cargo terminals of Westport. Cruise line ships drop anchor in any of the three berths at the Star Cruises Terminal.


Port Klang is served by several KTM Komuter stations (including the Port Klang Komuter station) which link it to Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya, Shah Alam and other parts of the Klang Valley.

A ferry terminal to Pulau Ketam and an International terminal to Tanjung Balai and Dumai in Indonesia are also located in the area. The old ferry terminal used to serve regular passenger boats to Pulau Lumut and Telok Gonjeng terminal until the completion of Northport Bridge link.

Main roads that link the town, port and housing area are Persiaran Raja Muda Musa and Jalan Pelabuhan Utara. There is an hourly bus service to Kuala Lumpur via Klang.

Image gallery

See also


  1. ^ "Town built on Selangor's tin trade". New Straits Times (Malaysia). 2009-04-06. Retrieved 2009-06-20.  
  2. ^ "MP Klang - Pelabuhan Klang". Majlis Perbandaran Klang. 19 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-19.  
  3. ^ United States. Division of Entomology, United States. Bureau of Entomology (1910), Bulletin, 88, Govt. Print. Office  
  4. ^ "Kuala Lumpur". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2007-12-06.  
  5. ^ P. L. Burns (1972). "Douglas, William Bloomfield (1822–1906)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. 4. Melbourne University Press. pp. 92–93. Retrieved 2009-06-19.  
  6. ^ "Info Klang-Port Sweettenham". Majlis Perbandaran Klang. 19 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-20.  
  7. ^ "Brickfields". Psyc2K3. Retrieved 2009-06-20.  
  8. ^ Debbie Chan (May 26, 2007). "No longer Swettenham Road". The Star (Malaysia). Retrieved 2009-06-19.  
  9. ^ Raffles, S (1921) "One hundred years of Singapore: being some account of the capital of the Straits Settlements from its foundation". London:Murray
  10. ^ J.S.C. Elkington (30 November 1906), Tropical Australia, Northern Territory Times and Gazette,, retrieved 2009-06-20  
  11. ^ "Effective War on Mosquitos.". The New York Times. April 19, 1905. Retrieved 2009-06-20.  
  12. ^ L. P. Mair (2007), Welfare in the British Colonies, Read Books, ISBN 1406775479, 9781406775471,, retrieved 2009-06-20  
  13. ^ "Royal Selangor Polo Club History". Royal Selangor Polo Club. 2004. Retrieved 2009-06-20.  
  14. ^ "RAF Servicing Commandos 1942-1946". 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-20.  
  15. ^ a b "Northport Heritage". Northport (Malaysia) Bhd. 2008. Retrieved 2009-06-20.  
  16. ^ "Our History". Royal Selangor Yacht Club. Retrieved 2009-06-20.  
  17. ^ "Background - Malaysia's Principal Port". Port Klang Authority. March 10, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-19.  
  18. ^ Kent G. Budge (2008). "Port Swettenham". The Pacific War Online Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2009-06-19.  
  19. ^ "Star Cruises Terminal - Port Klang". Star Cruises. 2008. Retrieved 2009-06-19.  

External links

Coordinates: 3°00′N 101°24′E / 3°N 101.4°E / 3; 101.4

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

See also the nearby but separate town of Klang.

Port Klang (Malay: Pelabuhan Kelang or Pelabuhan Klang) is the principal port in Selangor, a state of Malaysia. It also serves as the port for the Klang Valley, Malaysia's most developed region where the capital Kuala Lumpur is located.

There is nothing much to bring a traveller to Port Klang except for the ferry links to Dumai and Tanjung Balai Asahan, both in Sumatra, Indonesia was history. Port Klang and Klang town is very popular as Food Haven for locals and dynamic entreprenuer business. The largest AEON shopping centre in Southeast Asia is operational in 2008 and the largest Wholesale city called GM Klang is projected to commence its wholesale business for products such as fashion apparels, all kinds of bags, ladies accessories, watches, building materials, electrical and electronic devices and more by the mid of 2009. Like most port cities, Port Klang has a seedy feel to it and most of its buildings and structures are maritime-related, such as warehouses, storage tanks and offices.

In maritime terms, Port Klang actually consists of three distinct ports. The port nearest to Port Klang town is known as the South Port. There is also a North Port and the newly developed Westport located on an island just off the coast of Port Klang.

Get in

By road

Port Klang lies at the western end of the Federal Highway, the main expressway linking the major centres of the Klang Valley like Klang, Shah Alam, Subang Jaya, Petaling Jaya and Kuala Lumpur.

An elevated expressway linking the South Port (and hence Port Klang town) and North Port connects to the Shah Alam Expressway which then leads to the North South Expressway.

Port Klang is about 40km from Kuala Lumpur and 8km from Klang.

By bus and taxi

The Port Klang bus and taxi terminal is inconveniently located about 1km inland from the port area. One can walk the distance but the heat, noise and pollution may make it an unpleasant experience.

  • Transnasional and Cityliner buses [1], which belong to the same company, are the main buses serving Port Klang. No. 710 links Port Klang with Klang and Kuala Lumpur (Pasarama Kota or Klang Bus Stand) every half hour while No. 126 shuttles between Port Klang and Klang.
  • Other operators, such as Wawasan Sutera and Metrobus, also operate buses between Kuala Lumpur and Klang.

By train

The railway station is located just outside the port area across the road from the ferry terminal. KTM Komuter, Klang Valley's commuter train network, links the station with Klang (20 minutes) and Kuala Lumpur (one hour 10 minutes) with trains once every 15 minutes during peak hours, and once every 20 minutes during off-peak hours.

By boat

The ferry terminal - with the grand official name Passenger Cruise Terminal - is located in the port area where the Federal Highway (which is a two-lane city road at this point) meets the sea.

There are no domestic ferry services (except for boats to nearby Pulau Ketam). Ferries leave for Dumai in Riau province and Tanjung Balai Asahan in North Sumatra province, both on Sumatra, Indonesia.

  • To/from Dumai: There are several operators and agents selling tickets at the terminal
    • Indomal Express/Malaysia Express by Doyan Shipping (Tel: +60-3-3167 1058). Departure times written on signboard at ticket counter, usually about 9am. RM100 one-way. Journey takes just under 3 hours.
    • MV Pelita Jaya Express/Sabang Marindo II by NKH Ferry Services (Tel: +60-3-3166 0122). Daily departures at 10.30am. RM80/150 one-way/return.
  • To/from Tanjung Balai Asahan:
    • Aero Speed (Tel: +60-3-3165 2545/3073). Daily departures except Sundays at 11am.
    • MV Aman Satu by Sweeting Trading Sdn Bhd (Tel: +60-3-3165 7501). Daily departures at 11am. RM100/190 one-way/return.
    • MV Boeing Sky King/Boeing Sky King II by Lautan Mewah Entreprise (Tel: +60-3-3166 0390). Daily departures at 11am. RM100/190 one-wat/return.

While Dumai is a visa-free entry point, please note that Tanjung Balai Asahan is NOT a visa-free entry point and travellers need a visa to enter Indonesia via this port.

Malaysian citizens however do not need a visa for up to 30-day visits even if entering via Tanjung Balai.

  • Star Cruise ships call at the Star Cruise Terminal at Westport...Costa Cruises use the Star Cruise Terminal.Taxis are available outside the terminal rates are quoted in Ringetts for single and return journeys

i.e Terminal to Port Klang City 60R rtn SCT to KL including sightseeing 240R SCT to KL 180R SCT to KL airport 90R ( as off 27 Oct2009).A taxi is required to reach the train staion as well.

Get around

Walk to get from the ferry terminal to the railway station and bus and taxi terminal. Port Klang town just beyond the bus and taxi terminal and can also be reached on foot.


Pulau Ketam (Crab Island) is a mangrove covered island off the coast of Port Klang. The entire village on the island is built on stilts, making it an interesting day trip. How to get there: Take a ferry from the Pulau Ketam jetty beside (and not inside) the Passenger Cruise Terminal. There are about 15 trips a day and the journey takes about 30 minutes. It is usually packed during the weekends where people from as far a Kuala Lumpur goes for good seafood dishes. You can also buy a lot of local dried fish and sea delicacies back.

Getting around Pulau Ketam is fairly easy as there's not much roads around. There's no cars or motobikes but there's a lot of bicycle and electric-powered bicycles. You can also rent one to go around but becareful as the roads can be narrow at times. Be sure to bring an umbrella and sun screen as it can be very hot on the island.


Unless you are here on shipping business, there is not a lot to do in Port Klang except to catch the ferry or to move on to Kuala Lumpur or other destinations.

Like in many other port cities, Hokkien is widely spoken here.


Most locals head out to the Bagan Hailam area for good and relatively cheap (for the Klang Valley) seafood. Restaurants line the road and most are built on stilts over water. Other areas famous for seafood include Pandamaran and Teluk Gong, both south of Port Klang.

The town of Klang, 8 km away, is famous for the pork rib soup bak kut teh and worth a visit if in the vicinity.

  • Crystal Crown Harbor View, 217 Persiaran Raja Muda Musa +60-3-31654422. Popular business-class hotel (same management as the one in Petaling Jaya).
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