Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Capital's freight rises again

Capital's freight rises again

Capital's freight rises again

Ships sit docked at Phnom Penh Autonomous Port. The capital has seen freight volumes rise for the past three months on the back of the new trade route to South Vietnam’s Cai Mep port.

Phnom Penh Autonomous Port saw freight volumes increase last month, showing good Q3 results as Sihanoukville suffers

FREIGHT exports through the Phnom Penh Autonomous Port continued to increase in September after gains in both July and August followed year-on-year losses in the first six months of 2009.

Official figures obtained by the Post Monday show the port handled 4,484 outbound 20-foot-equivalent units (TEUs) in September, up 22.7 percent on the same month last year, when 3,654 TEUs were handled.

The increase follows a 22.65 percent rise in outbound cargo in August, which saw 5,063 TEUs shipped down the Mekong, compared with just 4,128 TEUs a year earlier. July exports through the port were up 0.84 percent year-on-year to 4,191 TEUs.

Falling exports in the first six months of the year mean outbound throughput volumes still fell 11 percent year-on-year across the first nine months of 2009 from 36,079 TEUs to 32,087 TEUs.

Port deputy director Eang Veng Sun said exports began to recover following the launch of the Cai Mep deepwater port in southern Vietnam’s Ba Ria Vung Tau province.

“Our shipment activity has increased a lot after the Vietnamese deepwater port Cai Mep launched its official operation in June this year,” he said.
Shipping goods down the Mekong River from Phnom Penh and then out through the port to the United States – a key export market for Cambodia – was much faster than through Sihanoukville International Port on Cambodia’s south coast, he said.

Sihanoukville suffers
Because Sihanoukville lacks a deepwater port, goods have to be transferred to Singapore, Taiwan or Hong Kong in smaller vessels before being loaded into a larger container ship for the journey across the Pacific.

Eang Veng Sun said the port had struggled in the first six months of the year as the global economic crisis began to devastate the country’s export sector.

Shipments of garments, by far the country’s main merchandise export, fell 18 percent in the first half of the year, according to government figures.
“Shipments began dropping at the beginning of the year, but it is not very serious as shipment activity at the Phnom Penh Autonomous Port is now recovering,” Eang Veng Sun said.

Hin Theany, a division general manager at Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL), said the firm shipped 481 TEUs of goods from the Phnom Penh Autonomous Port to Vietnam Cai Mep Port and 460 TEUs in August.

She said the shipments through Phnom Penh Autonomous Port accounted for 65 percent of the firm’s shipments, with the remainder going through Sihanoukville International Port.

“Our shipments through the Phnom Penh Autonomous Port increased during August and September because of an increase in purchase orders of sweatshirts from abroad for winter,” she said.

Sihanoukville Autonomous Port, which is still Cambodia’s largest shipping facility, said last month that gross tonnage coming through the port fell by 10.5 percent over the first eight months of the year, while the number of containers handled fell by 23 percent.


  • Stock photo agencies cash in on Khmer Rouge tragedy
    Stock-photo companies selling images from S-21 raises ethics concerns

    A woman with short-cropped hair stares directly into the camera, her head cocked slightly to the side. On her lap is a sleeping infant just barely in the frame. The woman was the wife of a Khmer Rouge officer who fell out of favour, and

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • Prime Minister: Take back islands from inactive developers

    The government will “take back” land on roughly 30 islands from private companies that have not made progress on planned developments, Prime Minister Hun Sen said in a speech on Monday that also targeted land-grabbing villagers and idle provincial governors. Speaking at the inauguration of the

  • Land on capital’s riverfront is opened up for investment

    The government has signed off on a proposal to designate more than 9 hectares of land along Phnom Penh’s riverfront as state-private land, opening it up for private investment or long-term leasing. The 9.25-hectare stretch of riverfront from the capital’s Night Market to the