The Cambodia Logistics Association (CLA) has expressed concern about the severe impact on the logistics and transportation sector which faces a downturn in business due to the Covid-19 outbreak, it said in a statement on Saturday.

A supply shortage of imported raw materials from China has led to a loss of jobs in the garment sector, the Kingdom’s largest industry and largest user of logistics services, it said.

Fewer garment exports, including footwear, trousers and travel products to the US and European markets have led to transportation carriers losing money.

A number of airlines have suspended flights under the circumstances, resulting in a heavy loss of aviation brokers and cargo contracts with overseas customers, while air freight prices continue to rise.

As border restrictions tightened amid the pandemic, logistics companies are no longer able to pay employees’ salaries as revenue dries up, said the CLA.

Meanwhile, many customers are delaying payment, causing a congestion of cash flow. Bank interest rates, office rents and other expenses have become increasingly burdensome, it said.

“Looking at government ministries and institutions, the expense of processing paperwork to export goods has not been reduced at all.

“All kinds of audits from the General Department of Taxation are becoming more and more burdensome for the logistics sector, striking more fear into business owners than the Covid-19 disease,” it said.

CLA president Sin Chanthy told The Post that the logistics and transport sector has been the most affected, with conditions worsening on all sides and no solution in sight.

“We ask for mutual cooperation to get through this emergency,” he said.

Khun Saroeun, co-founder and CEO of locally-owned global logistics and courier specialist SHA Transport Express Co Ltd, said his company is facing revenue losses due to a sharp drop in freight activity.

“We are facing serious problems, we want to ask the tax authorities not to audit and ask the government to help the logistics and transport sector to sustain business,” he said.

Phan Phalla, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Economy and Finance, who is a member of its ad hoc working group tasked with strategic goods control for the duration of the pandemic, could not be reached by The Post on Sunday.

Late last month, the government issued a three-month minimum tax exemption for the aviation sector and an exemption on all types of monthly taxes for tourism operators.