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Truck ban not as painful as feared, shipper says

A truck is measured on Phnom Penh’s Chroy Changvar peninsula at a checkpoint looking for overloaded and illegally modified trucks on February 11.
A truck is measured on Phnom Penh’s Chroy Changvar peninsula at a checkpoint looking for overloaded and illegally modified trucks on February 11. Hong Menea

Truck ban not as painful as feared, shipper says

Since a crackdown on oversized and illegal trucks began on February 10, the government has checked nearly 100,000 vehicles, taking more than 1,000 off the road and finding 3,000 others in violation of various regulations, according to Transport Ministry spokesman Va Sim Sorya.

The crackdown, like many new government policies, began following a speech from Prime Minister Hun Sen, during which the premier threatened to sack any provincial governors who allow oversized or overloaded trucks on roads on their provinces.

It was followed by a letter addressed to the prime minister from the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) that argued that a large number of trucks transporting garment goods were in violation of the ban and called for a grace period to dampen the effect.

No such grace period was given, but the situation has improved for transporters, according to Sin Chanthy, president of the Cambodia Freight Forwarders Association.

“During the first month of enforcement, we were concerned that it would impact our delivery timeframes” Chanthy said yesterday. “But now the situation is not bad or tense, and doesn’t impact much on the container trucks.”

In its original letter, GMAC said the crackdown “posed a new threat to the garment, footwear, and travelling goods sectors, which are facing an increasingly competitive global market and shorter orders from buyers” and said the policy would affect businesses in a matter of days if it was not delayed.

Representatives from GMAC could not be reached for comment yesterday, but according to Chanthy, fears that the crackdown would ensnare the container trucks widely used in the garment industry proved overblown.

“During the first month of enforcement, we were concerned that it would impact our delivery timeframes” Chanthy said. “But now the situation is not bad or tense, and doesn’t impact much on the container trucks.”

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