Cargo traffic at Sihanoukville Autonomous Port, the Kingdom’s only deep-sea port, saw 16 percent growth during the first quarter of the year, the Minister of Transport announced yesterday.
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From January to March, the port handled 139,889 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), compared to 120,594 during the same months in 2018, Minister Sun Chanthol said during a meeting with workers of the port to mark International Labour Day.
The minister also pointed out that in the whole of 2018 a total of 541,288 TEUs passed through the port, an 18 percent year-on-year hike.
According to Mr Chanthol, the state-owned port generated $72 million in revenue last year.
The minister did not specify the types of goods that were shipped through the port, but the Cambodia Freight Forwarders Association (CAMFFA) told Khmer Times yesterday that cargo consisted in its majority of textiles and agricultural goods.
Sin Chanthy, CAMFFA’s president, attributed the growth in cargo traffic to the country’s robust economic performance, which makes Cambodia an attractive destination for foreign direct investment.
Mr Chanthol projected cargo traffic to grow at an even faster pace in years to come.
“The volume of containers passing through the country’s only deep-sea port will surpass 700.000 TEUs next year and will increase to more than one million by 2023,” he said, adding that the government plans to reduce lift-on and lift-off costs by 10 percent while increasing efficiency in operation and management.
Construction of a new terminal is scheduled to begin next year with an investment of about $203 million.
The project will be completed by 2024, according to Mr Chanthol, who said the Japanese government, through the agency JICA, has granted Cambodia $380 million in concessional loans from 1999 to 2019 for the development and renovation of the port.