Transport firm reports drop in fortunes following decline in garment industry
THE World Bank has ranked Cambodia 129th out of 155 world economies for its logistical ability to trade on international markets, in a study released Thursday. The report on global trade logistics surveyed the capacity of countries to move goods then connect them with manufacturers and consumers. Placed 129th, Cambodia was one of the worst performers in Southeast Asia. Neighbouring Thailand and Vietnam were ranked 35th and 53rd in the world, respectively. Laos was placed 118th. Cambodia, sandwiched between Bhutan and Algeria, only just outdid Myanmar, which limped behind in 133rd place. For imports to Cambodia, around 6.5 agencies were involved in the process; around 29 percent of shipped imports were physically inspected, each taking around 5.92 days to clear, the report said. ELLIE DYER
CAMBODIA’S largest transportation company, So Nguon Group, reported Thursday that revenue from goods hauled by land dropped an annualised 30 percent in 2009.
So Nguon, director of the So Nguon Group, told the Post that his firm earned US$7.56 million from 12,600 deliveries in 2009, compared to $10.80 million from 18,000 deliveries in 2008. The company charges US$600 to transport a container from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville and back.
“The downturn in our transportation service has occurred since early last year. I believe it is due to the reduction in production in the garment sector, which was the main user of the company’s transportation service and was affected by the world economic crisis,” he said.
The figures are in line with reports from Cambodia’s main ports.
Earlier this month, Sihanoukville Autonomous Port found that container shipments decreased an annualised 20 percent in 2009, prompting a 16 percent decline in revenue compared to 2008. Phnom Penh Autonomous Port also reported a 15 percent decrease in revenue.
Despite the figures, both the government and logistics companies remained hopeful for improvement this year.
Chan Nora, secretary of state with the Ministry of Commerce, said Thursday that trade in Cambodia may improve, adding that large amounts of agricultural products – such as rice, corn and rubber – had been reserved for large-scale exports to international markets.
“We hope the trade situation for Cambodia will change. The government has already introduced some measures to facilitate trade and had just opened new markets with many countries in the region,” he said.
So Nguon said that even if garment shipments do not increase this year, other products may help boost business, “especially agricultural products like rice”.
So Nguon Group currently operates 200 trucks, which transport goods from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville, the Vietnamese border at Bavet and Poipet on the Thai border.