The Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol said on Tuesday that road damage in Preah Sihanouk province caused by recent rainfall and traffic congestion has been affecting the transport of goods between Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville Autonomous Port.
Speaking at the opening of a repairing site for a road damaged by flooding in the province, Chanthol said that in order to facilitate the transport of goods to Sihanoukville town, the government plans to expand National Road 4 using a $110 million World Bank loan.
“In the past, we spent five hours to transport goods from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville, but now we spend eight to 10 hours. This is very time consuming and expensive,” he said.
“I see some trucks can’t send goods to cargo ships on time because of traffic congestion, so this causes a loss to the national budget,” he said.
According to Chanthol, the ministry will put the project up for bidding in November this year and start construction in 2020.
Sinn Chanthy, Cambodia Freight Forwarders Association (CAMFFA) President, told The Post that road damage in the province has negatively impacted the transportation of goods between Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville Autonomous Port, resulting in time delays and rising costs.
“It costs more and takes a long time, from eight to 10 hours, to transport goods from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville Autonomous Port,” he said. “Previously, using a 40-foot height container cost $260 to transport goods from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville, but now we spend about $340, making our costs higher.”
Chanthy said an average of 2,000 container lorries per day transport goods to and from Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville Autonomous Port.
Chanthy called on the government to resolve the road damage problem quickly so that it would not affect Cambodian international trade.
“CAMFFA is really affected and so we ask the authorities, as well as concerned parties, to take action to improve the existing situation as soon as possible to facilitate the export of goods fast,” he said.
Kann Kunthy, Vice President of rice exporter Amru Rice, said his company decided to transport their goods by train as road transport costs had increased by about 10 to 20 per cent.
“Rice shipping through containers has been difficult for a while due to the flooding problem and the technical restrictions imposed by the ministry on lorries, but we have the option to transport our rice by train,” he said, adding that Amru Rice exports about 200 containers of rice per month.