Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Firms say transport fee cuts not deep enough

Firms say transport fee cuts not deep enough

A truck is loaded with shipping containers at Sihanoukville Autonomous Port in 2011.
A truck is loaded with shipping containers at Sihanoukville Autonomous Port in 2011. Heng Chivoan

Firms say transport fee cuts not deep enough

Officially sanctioned reductions in port container fees will have little impact on the Kingdom’s trade competitiveness as deeply engrained problems in trucking and railways, as well as high custom fees, remain in place, stakeholders in the transport sector said yesterday.

“The cost reduction of transportation fees is better than nothing, but documentation, customs and administrative costs are big expenses that need to be reformed,” said Siev Eang Tang, an import supervisor for CTSI Logistics Inc.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that state-owned Sihanoukville Autonomous Port and Kampuchea Shipping Agency and Brokers would cut container costs by 10 per cent, while Phnom Penh Autonomous Port would reduce container fees by 5 per cent.

Tang said the cuts would have little effect on overall freight transport costs, as the majority of the company’s customers struggle with high tariffs and documentation fees.

Ly Meng, manager of Meng Hong Leap Logistics, agreed that the small reductions in port container fees would have little impact on the sector’s overall competitiveness.

“Reducing the loading costs provides a little help, but the overall costs are still high and the trucking sector has yet to be reformed,” he said.

While the two largest private associations for the Kingdom’s trucking industry – CamFFA and CAMTA – have already agreed to reduce container fees by $10, Meng said those cuts have yet to become official.

Song Saran, CEO of Amru Rice, said that the cuts imposed by the prime minister were a positive step in a challenging sector that would eventually increase overall trade competiveness. But he argued that railway costs and trucking fees should also be closely examined.

“[The port] fees are only a small part of the production line,” Saran said.

“The government should continue to call on the logistics sector to discuss cutting costs together.”

Logistics companies have also complained of being charged onerous informal fees by state officials, which increase the cost of freight shipments and reduce export competitiveness.

MOST VIEWED

  • All inbound flights set to face added scrutiny

    Ministry of Health spokesperson Or Vandine said on Monday that the ministry is monitoring all inbound flights, after it was announced that only those from Malaysia and Indonesia will be temporarily cancelled from August 1. Vandine said on Monday that the two countries were identified as

  • Flights from Indonesia, Malaysia cancelled

    A Ministry of Health official has warned of the possibility of Covid-19 spreading through community transmission after the total infected cases in the Kingdom rose to 225. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine told reporters on Saturday that the possibility of community transmission cannot be overlooked and that

  • Man in quarantine dies of ‘overdose’

    The Ministry of Health on Thursday said a Cambodian migrant worker who died while being isolated at a quarantine centre in Tbong Khmum province’s Kroch Chhmar district may have died from syncope or overdose of tablets. In a statement, the ministry said the 21-year-old

  • Ministry set to reopen 20 schools in August

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport will allow 20 high-safety-standards schools to reopen next month despite new cases of Covid-19 in the country. Ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha wrote in a Telegram message on Wednesday that the schools are in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang.