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Another heavy year for air cargo

Cargo loaded onto a flight at Phnom Penh International Airport. Supplied
Cargo loaded onto a flight at Phnom Penh International Airport. Supplied

Another heavy year for air cargo

Last year was another record year for air cargo handling in Cambodia, with more cargo airlines serving the Kingdom’s airports in response to a growing demand, particularly from garments exporters. Total cargo volume jumped to over 65,000 tonnes in 2017, a hefty 36 percent increase over the previous year.

According to Cambodia Airports, the company that operates the Kingdom’s three international airports, four airlines currently provide scheduled air cargo services to Cambodia. Cathay Pacific Cargo, K-Mile Air, Turkish Airlines and Qatar Cargo operate regular cargo flights to and from Phnom Penh International Airport using dedicated air freighters, while several other cargo carriers provide charter service.

Responding to the massive growth in cargo volume over the past few years, Cambodia Airports has upgraded its main cargo terminal, adding new cargo pallet build-up workstations to handle the increased capacity.

“Phnom Penh Cargo Terminal has expanded significantly in the recent years to handle the growing demand,” said Chloé Lapeyre, general manager of Phnom Penh International Airport. “With now four workstations, the cargo warehouse team is able to build-up the export cargo in the right time to complete the shipment for at least two or three wide-body freighters per day . . . on top of the belly cargo transported on commercial passenger flights.”

She said the development of the existing cargo facilities at Phnom Penh’s airport matches the current level of cargo traffic and will be able to accommodate future demand.

“Cambodia Airports is continuing development of the truck parking, equipment purchase, process efficiency and warehouse layout optimisation to further increase the capacity and handle traffic,” Lapeyre said.

The airport operator has also recently commissioned a cargo expert consultancy firm to develop the functional program and concept design of a new cargo handling complex to be built at Phnom Penh International Airport.

“Such complex will support the growing cargo inbound and outbound demand for the decades ahead,” she added.

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