Ooi Lean Hin, Managing Director of MTT Shipping


From 2010 with very modest capital, MTT shipping has quickly grown from a novice to a leading container operator in Malaysia, dominating a large market share in East Malaysia.

As Managing Director of MTT Shipping, Ooi Lean Hin is involved in almost every aspect of the maritime and logistic business. “We have worked very closely with port operators in East Malaysia to implement fixed arrival days in local ports, a concept that is widely used in global ports. To complement our container shipping, we also operate container depots. We also operate container depots at various locations such as in the north in Penang, in the central region in Port Klang and in Westports Malaysia itself, ”he explains.

Reaching the top of the industry wasn’t an overnight process. A constant focus on finding ways to improve what it offers customers and stay one step ahead of the competition has set MTT Shipping apart.

“It is crucial to be able to react very quickly to the operating environment, which is very dynamic in terms of business volumes, operational challenges such as port congestion, fluctuations in demand and supply, and trade imbalances,” he says.

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“After differentiation, our second focus is on technology. Since our foundation, we have invested and pushed ahead with digitization in our company and in the interfaces to our customers. For a medium-sized company, what we actually have is similar to that of the big airlines. “

Positive outlook

Unlike many other companies that saw sales plummet during the pandemic, MTT Shipping benefited from solid demand over the past year. Thanks to this success, Ooi hopes to build on and expand on this advancement.

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Ooi and Group Executive Chairman Dato Seri Kenny Ong (left)

“The shipping companies are doing much, much better than they used to be,” he said. “We’re looking for growth opportunities over the next three to five years. We have built up significant domestic activities, but at the same time want to expand our regional presence and our charter market. “

The world is constantly changing and therefore we have to adapt to changes.

Technological innovation is of vital importance to MTT Shipping. However, striking the right balance between using technology to assist customers with their needs and using technology not for its own sake can be challenging. When Ooi first started the digitization push, the pick-up rate wasn’t very high, he admits. “It takes time and it takes a lot more education and innovation to make your systems more user-friendly to the outside world.”

Running a business with operations in many areas requires diverse skills. Ooi’s ability to spot future trends puts MTT Shipping in a strong position to capitalize on the opportunities that present themselves. “I’m always open to change because I think change is a very necessary process. The world is constantly changing and that’s why we have to adapt to changes even when we’re talking, ”he says.

Due to the pandemic, the company’s operations are now different. “Even though I’m 62, I advocate changes that can advance our mission and vision,” says Ooi. “It is important that executives think outside the box and adapt to changes in the dynamic and competitive business environment.”

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Through an open and collaborative leadership style – Ooi works with employees to gain their strategic direction instead of giving commands or instructions – the decisions made offer the maximum benefit for the company.

“I believe that empowering people is the most important factor in successful leadership,” he says. “I share my thoughts and visions with my dedicated team and we work together to make this a reality.”

Ooi believes that this collaborative environment has led to the success MTT Shipping enjoys today.

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