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Port cargo traffic rises on swelling economy

Sihanoukville Autonomous Port in Preah Sihanouk province in 2014.
Sihanoukville Autonomous Port in Preah Sihanouk province in 2014. Heng Chivoan

Port cargo traffic rises on swelling economy

Container traffic at Sihanoukville Autonomous Port (SAP), which operates the country’s only deep-sea port, increased by almost 10 per cent during the first quarter of the year, compared to a year earlier, while tonnage rose by 11.5 per cent, a company official said yesterday.

“The significant growth is related to our strong economy, which is driving an increase in import and export activity,” said SAP director-general Lou Kim Chhun.

“When the economy is growing our port activities grow accordingly.”

He said the port received approximately 95,000 20-foot equivalent unit (TEUs) containers during the first quarter of 2016, up from about 86,000 during the same period a year earlier. Total volume topped 1.1 million tonnes, from 940,000 tonnes during the first quarter in 2015.

Total imports during the first quarter of the year were up 12.8 per cent, while exports rose 7.8 per cent, according to Chhun.

He also attributed the double-digit growth to the port’s ability to handle bigger cargo ships, which has increased throughput while raising the port’s visibility on the international radar.

“When we can receive bigger ships that can carry more containers, the price becomes cheaper, so our port is seen as very competitive and attractive,” he said.

He predicted that the growth would continue into the next quarter, which would boost the port operator’s appeal to investors as it prepares to list on the Cambodian stock exchange.

“We are trying hard to work on our plan to list our company in a stock exchange this year,” Chhun added.

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