The idea of 'Dry Port' or 'Inland Port' as the best alternative to a seaport was developed by the Malaysian Government. The main aim is to provide all the facilities and logistic services that are available at seaport at strategic inland location. It is basically an extension of port facilities into the hinterland of a seaport, except in this case without the sea and for the reason the term 'Dry Port'is being used.
Based on this concept, Malaysia established its first 'Dry Port' at Jalan St. John, Ipoh in the state of Perak. It was incorporated under the Company's Act as a private concern under the name Ipoh Cargo Terminal (ICT) in November 1989 under the auspices of the Ministry of Transport with the participation of Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd, Perak State Economic Development Corporation (SEDC), Port Klang Authority (PKA), Penang Port Commission (PPC) and Johore Port Authority (JPA).
The project was launched on 16th July 1989 and the construction of the terminal was completed in October. ICT commenced operation on 1st November 1989 and was officially opened by the Honorable Minister of Transport on 10th November the same year.
Established primarily to help and provide the Perak-based traders an alternative in choice of ports for their business, ICT has now become the main port of import and export for most of the major and small scale industries located within Kinta Valley and its surrounding.