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Slight rise in truck numbers

A transport truck drives down a street in Phnom Penh in December 2012. Photograph: Vireak Mai/Phnom Penh Post

The total number of new trucks registered last year increased slightly, but industry insiders said that even though more trucks are needed to boost the Kingdom’s trading volume, the country’s export capacity is relatively unaffected because of trucks bought in previous years.

The number of big trucks registered reached 12,715 units last year, compared with 12,156 units in 2011, while the number of small trucks registered declined to 6,921 units from 7,314 in 2011, according to figures from the transportation department under the Ministry of Public Works and Transport.

Peou Maly, deputy director-general at the ministry’s transportation department, told the Post that the number of commercial vehicles typically fluctuates slightly each year.

“It is according to the transportation companies – whether they have the abilities to buy or extend vehicles for the operation or not,” he said.

As trucks are considered durable vehicles and remain in use for long periods of time, the numbers bought do not necessarily correspond to rising exports, said Chan Sophal, president of the Cambodian Economic Association.

“Previous years’ stock could be serving the current order,” he said.

“If there is demand, suppliers will come to balance the market.”

Late last year, milled rice exporters said it was often difficult for them to find transportation for their product, especially during periods when producers from other sectors needed trucks at the same time.

Because rice is relatively heavy to transport – and therefore requires more petrol – trucking companies often give preference to other goods.

Such concerns have been reduced this year due to the availability of railway transport, said Kim Savuth, president of Federation of Cambodian Rice Exporters.

Dimanch Bou, chief operating officer of the Teng Lay Group, told the Post that his transport company is growing well and currently has more than 200 trucks on the streets.

“The company is transporting diverse commodities from garments to sugar cane, and recently the transport of rice increased,” he said.



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