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Port shipments to soar

Port shipments to soar

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Men talk near a row of containers at the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port earlier this year. Photo by: HECTOR BERMEJO

SHIPMENTS through Sihanoukville Autonomous Port have increased this year largely on increased exports of rice and acacia wood, Director General Lou Kim Chhun said.

Some 91,100 Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) were transported through the facility between January and May, an 8.7 percent increase on shipments during the same period last year, according to port statistics.

An increase in shipments of products such as garments, oil and coal were main drivers of the growth, though agriculture and timber products were showing the largest increase, he said.

“Rice and acacia-wood exports jumped better than expected in the first five months,” Lou Kim Chhun said on Tuesday.

The port is currently shipping 10,000 tonnes of acacia wood to China each month, while imports of oil are also on the rise.

Lou Kim Chhun highlighted the potential of rail shipments from Phnom Penh to the port as increasing overall exports.

The rail link between the capital and Touk Meas in Kampot province opened last year, while the leg between Kampot and Sihanoukville is slated for completion this year.

“We strongly believe that when the railroad from Touk Meas links with Sihanoukville port, shipments through the port will increase more next year,” he said.

One of Cambodia’s largest trucking companies, So Nguon Group, is taking a wait and see approach to competition from rail.

“We don’t think it will affect our business of transportation, but we don’t know yet. We will wait to see the situation at the time,” said its President So Nguon on Tuesday.

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