The February 20 community transmission has compounded the woes of the transport and logistics sectors still reeling from the Covid-19 health crisis.
Industry insiders estimate that transport volumes are down about 20 per cent compared to levels logged prior to February 20.
Sin Chanthy, president of the 100-member-strong Cambodia Logistics Association (CLA), told The Post that the latest outbreak’s toll has been felt across all fields – goods delivery procedure services, transport and export-import.
He said freight and logistics had shown signs of a recovery between end-2020 and the beginning of this year, but plummeted after February 20.
“We see that [the sectors] have been in decline up till now on steadily weakening demand, driving down transport volumes in turn.
“We are very concerned that if this situation continues until the middle of this year or beyond, it’ll leave a longer-lasting mark on companies’ revenues.
“This adds yet another financial burden on top of persistently-high shipping costs, a shortage of containers and headaches in the ship-chartering process,” Chanthy said.
Khut Saroeun, founder and CEO of SHA Transport Express Co Ltd, painted a bleak image of lorries parked at various ports across the Kingdom with “nothing to transport” since the February 20 outbreak.
“We will hold an online meeting with representatives from the logistics sector to study the impact and submit a request to the government to help,” Saroeun said.
According to Chanthy, it now costs $250-280 to ship a 40-foot container from Phnom Penh to the Kingdom’s flagship deep-sea Sihanoukville Autonomous Port. “I still hope the situation will improve soon,” he said.
In a filing to the Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX), the state-owned operator of the port (PAS) reported $2.718 million in net revenue in the fourth quarter of last year, a strong 15.6 per cent rise from $2.349 million logged in the same period in 2019.
However, the deep-sea port operator posted a 7.59 per cent year-on-year dip in sales revenue.