'Right now, the port is reaching nine million TEU and the capacity is 12.5 million TEU with an eight to nine per cent expansion annually,' Transport Minister Anthony Loke told reporters in Johor Baru, reported Singapore's The Straits Times.
'If we don't do anything, within three to four years they'll reach full capacity. We can't wait until then to plan for expansion.'
With the intention to make Johor a regional distribution centre, Mr Loke wants PTP to attract large corporations, including those from the automotive sector, to set up a base in Johor.
'We want to make this their base to distribute goods within this region. We have land for warehouse and land for port development,' he told reporters.
In his speech at the Johor Port Week opening ceremony earlier, Mr Loke said the federal government is seeking to make PTP a 'major transshipment hub competing among the best in the world.'
He also said that PTP had achieved seven per cent growth last year, after handling 8.96 million TEU. In July the port accommodated the world's largest containership MSC Gulsun that departed from PTP with 19,574 TEU on board.
In an effort to make Malaysia more attractive as a shipping hub, Mr Loke said the government is easing regulations to make business at ports easier while encouraging digitisation to increase efficiency.
Measures implemented included removing the need for permits and licences for 54 goods in containers on transshipment in Malaysia, and seeking to promote development of bunkering hubs in ports.