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

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • CCC team off on US business trip

    The Kingdom’s leading economists and private sector representatives have called on the US to renew its tax preferential status for Cambodian exports, as a Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) delegation departed for a weeklong business visit to the US, where they will meet with

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • Khmer cinema classics back on big screen for free at WB Arena’s outdoor movies series

    On a recent Saturday evening at WB Arena, Bunsong was enjoying a tasty BBQ meal with his family after work on the long tables that had been arranged out in front of the restaurant as they watched a Khmer action movie on a big outdoor

  • PM heads to Washington for ASEAN-US special summit

    Regional and international issues and how to bring the ASEAN-US partnership to another level will be discussed at length as Prime Minister Hun Sen and his ministers arrive in Washington, DC, for a special summit on May 12-13. During the trip, Hun Sen and ASEAN

  • National Assembly refutes EU resolution

    The National Assembly (NA) has hit back at a European Parliament resolution condemning the political and human rights situation in Cambodia, calling it another display of the Parliament’s “double standards”. Key points of the resolution include a warning that the Parliament could exclude the