Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Shortage of containers drives hike in marine shipping prices

Shortage of containers drives hike in marine shipping prices

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The price of shipping a 40-foot container to China from Sihanoukville Autonomous Port reportedly more than tripled between August and now. Hong Menea

Shortage of containers drives hike in marine shipping prices

International marine cargo shipping services in Cambodia have become more expensive over the past few months, further compounding exporters’ Covid-19-related woes.

The price hike comes as fewer container ships from China and Europe dock in the Kingdom on the back of dwindling inbound orders of raw materials to supply the Kingdom’s factories amid Covid-19.

Cambodia Logistics Association (CLA) president Sin Chanthy told The Post on December 3 that it now costs $2,000 to ship a 40-foot container to China from Sihanoukville Autonomous Port, eclipsing the $600 price tag seen in August.

He pointed out similar price increases for shipments to the US and Europe.

“The price will likely retreat again in January or February 2021, and if not, we’ll seek government intervention,” Chanthy said, noting that the jump in prices had damaged the transport sector and companies’ competitive advantages.

“This increase in fees will affect consumer prices and the national economy as a whole,” he warned.

Logistics company VTS (Cambodia) Co Ltd on November 28 announced that it had temporarily suspended its marine shipping services from the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou in favour of land transport.

But it will continue ocean transport out of its base of operations in Yiwu city in eastern Zhejiang province with prices subject to change, the company added.

Cambodia Rice Federation secretary-general Lun Yeng said the Kingdom faces a shortage of cargo ships to export milled rice to European markets, noting that exporters were turning to ports in Vietnam and Thailand to ship out their wares.

He chalked this up to disruptions in the supply chain and logistics sector across Europe resulting from Brexit as its transition period draws ever nearer to its December 31 end.

“As recently as November, we witnessed a shortage of containers to export Cambodian milled rice to Europe, not many ships from Europe came to Cambodia. Prices also skyrocketed.

“As is characteristic, with less cargo coming in, fewer ships will be available to send back out, and likewise, there’ll be no containers either.

“We believe that the situation will improve when Covid-19 eases and the final terms of any Brexit deal are determined,” Yeng said.

Cambodia exported $14.1 billion worth of goods in the first nine months of this year, up 20.07 per cent from the same period last year, the Ministry of Economy and Finance reported.

Topping the list of export items were milled rice, bicycles, electrical appliances and agricultural products such as legumes, cashew nuts and yellow bananas, according to the report.

The Kingdom’s imports in January-September were valued at $13.6 billion, dipping 8.7 per cent year-on-year, the data show.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Kingdom one of safest to visit in Covid-19 era’

    The Ministry of Tourism on January 12 proclaimed Cambodia as one of the safest countries to visit in light of the Kingdom having been ranked number one in the world by the Senegalese Economic Prospective Bureau for its success in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. In rankings

  • Ministry mulls ASEAN+3 travel bubble

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to launch a travel bubble allowing transit between Cambodia and 12 other regional countries in a bid to resuscitate the tourism sector amid crushing impact of the ongoing spread of Covid-19, Ministry of Tourism spokesman Top Sopheak told The Post on

  • Kingdom accepts Chinese vaccine, PM first to get jab

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said China would offer Cambodia an immediate donation of one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by the Sinopharm company. In an audio message addressing the public on the night of January 15, he said Cambodia has accepted the offer and

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • PM asks India for vaccine help

    Prime Minister Hun Sen is seeking assistance from India for the provision of Covid-19 vaccines as the country has produced its own vaccine which is scheduled to be rolled out to more than 300 million Indians this year. The request was made during his meeting with

  • Capital set to beef up security

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng held the first meeting of the year with heads of armed forces in the capital to review and repair the deficiencies related to gun control, drug crimes, social order disruptions due to alcohol consumption and traffic law enforcement. Municipal