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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Traffic at capital’s port surged 42pc during Q1

Traffic at capital’s port surged 42pc during Q1

However, growth rate declined month on month, figures show

FREIGHT shipments through Phnom Penh Autonomous Port jumped an annualised 42 percent in the first quarter of 2010, slightly below growth expectations, according to official figures.

Nearly 12,000 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of goods were shipped between the capital and Cai Mep deepwater port in Vietnam, an increase from 8,400 TEUs in the first quarter of 2009.

The rise in shipments was projected to continue, Eang Veng Sun, deputy director general for the port, said on Wednesday.

“What we can expect now is for the activity of shipping products like rice, corn, textiles, construction materials, general items and raw materials for the garment sector to be busier than before,” he said.

More than 4,000 TEUs of freight were shipped in March, a rise of over 3,600 TEUs on March 2009.

The quarterly rise came from annualised growth of 75 percent in January, 51.5 percent in February and 26 percent last month.

The overall increase was just below the port’s 44 percent projection for growth in 2010, amounting to 62,500 TEUs in goods.

“I believe that our services will keep increasing in the future, because more and more customers are switching to the Phnom Penh Autonomous Port,” Eang Veng Sun said.

The capital has been shipping goods through Cai Mep since July 2009 and has seen an average monthly increase of 22 percent since the deepwater port opened in June 2009.

The Vietnamese port makes it easier for Phnom Penh suppliers to move goods along the Mekong River, saving up to 10 days of travel and reducing transshipment activities in ports like Singapore.

Vietnam and Cambodia have also worked to reduce shipping times by agreeing on single cargo inspections at the border.

The opening of the Cai Mep port has hurt Sihanoukville, but it too saw revenue and shipments slightly increase.

The Sihanoukville port, the Kingdom’s largest facility, reported an annualised rise in shipments of 13.35 percent in the first two months this year, indicating a modest recovery in the economy; however, the port reported only a 1.96 percent rise in revenue for the period.

Kiry Phal, executive director of Gemadept, a company that has been using the Phnom Penh port since 2004, said Wednesday that his company had increased shipment activity through capital by 15 percent each month up to about 2,000 containers of goods, including garments and agricultural products.

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