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Port cargo traffic at Sihanoukville sees 16% first quarter rise

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Sihanoukville Autonomous Port in Preah Sihanouk province. TANG CHHIN SOTHY/AFP

Port cargo traffic at Sihanoukville sees 16% first quarter rise

In the first quarter of this year, cargo traffic through the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port rose 16 per cent year-on-year, according to Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol.

Chanthol, speaking at the 133rd International Labour Day anniversary in Preah Sihanouk province on Wednesday, said the volume of goods through Sihanoukville Autonomous Port was 139,889 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) during the period, up 16 per cent on to the same period last year.

Cargo crossing the Cambodia Securities Exchange-listed port last year totalled 541,228 TEUs – a 17.7 per cent increase compared to 2017’s $72 million – according to a ministerial report.

According to Chanthol, the port expects container volumes to exceed 700,000 TEUs by next year and more than 1,000,000 by 2023.

He added that to respond to future growth, Sihanoukville Autonomous Port should also strengthen and expand its lift-on lift-off capacity and warehouses.

“The port must also have a comprehensive strategy such as lower lift-on lift-off fees, logistics services, strengthening management efficiency . . . to reinforce competitiveness,” he said.

Minister of Economy and Finance Aun Pornmoniroth, who was also present at the event, said the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port is Cambodia’s main sea port, linking the Kingdom to the rest of the world.

He added that the port has been working with the government to reduce transportation costs.

“Due to government reforms, the port saw a loss of about $2 million [after reducing the cost of services]. However, the measures have reduced Cambodia’s transport costs, which will make Cambodian goods more competitive.”

The minister also urged a new container terminal currently under construction to be completed on schedule. The new container terminal will make the Kingdom’s shipping costs competitive with neighbouring countries, he said.

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