Malacca’s history dates back to the 15th century as a maritime powerhouse and trading centre at the crossroads of the East-West shipping route. The spice and silk trade between Far East, India and Europe flourished with Malacca taking centre stage as a multicultural trading post besides often being a subject of political tussle between the Portuguese, Dutch and British as a means to control the strategic Malacca Straits sea lain. Malacca glory days continued until the 19th century when other parts of Peninsular Malaysia witnessed rapid growth in commodities and industrialisation.
In the modern era, the Port of Malacca was opened in 1978 at a new location at Tanjung Bruas, about 10km south of the city. Serving a hinterland encompassing Malacca, Negeri Sembilan and Northern Johor, the Port is surrounded by more than 500 companies operating within Melaka’s Industrial Parks featuring electrical and electronic companies, fabricated metal product plants, food and furniture manufacturers. This enables the Port to be developed as a major Gateway to handle both Containers and Conventional cargoes to serve the growing industries in Melaka and the Central Region of Peninsular Malaysia as well as its neighbouring countries. The strategic location of the Port also provides an opportunity to tap on marine services such as ship husbandry, ship supplies, bunkering services and ship-to-ship transfers.
The Port of Malacca, otherwise known as the port limits of Malacca was declared in 1978 under Section 5 of the Merchant Shipping Ordinance 1952. In the late 1970’s, the State Government of Malacca decided to promote shipping activities as a catalyst to spur economic growth of the state and as such requested the Ministry of Transport Malaysia to assist in developing and promoting Malacca Port. The port was at that time administered and managed by the Marine Department.
On 15th July 1983, the functions, powers, duties and jurisdiction of Port Klang Authority (PKA) was extended to Malacca Port by virtue of Kelang Port Authority (extension of functions to Malacca Port) Order 1983, made by the Minister in exercising the powers conferred under section 47A of the Port Authorities Act 1963. From 1983-1992, Malacca Port was administrated and operated by Port Klang Authority (styled as Malacca Port Authority).
In 1992, under the Government’s port privatisation policy exercises, the port business undertakings of operating, managing and providing port facilities and services in Port of Malacca were privatised to Syarikat Perkhidmatan Pelabuhan Gabungan Sdn Bhd (SPPG) for a period of 21 years (3 November 1992 until 31 October 2013), while the MPA functioned as a Regulatory Body.
As this concession period ended, in the interim, the administration and operations at Tanjung Bruas Port was carried out by the Malacca Port Authority until the New Privatisation Concession Agreement was finalised and signed between the Government, the Malacca Port Authority and the Terminal Operator (Tanjung Bruas Port Sdn Bhd, formerly known as KMB Seaport Sdn Bhd). This 30 year concession became effective on 20 November 2016.