PHNOM PENH: A test version of an electronic port data exchange system (Port EDI) to facilitate access to ships in Cambodian ports was launched at the Ministry of Public Works and Transport on Wednesday morning, 17 August.
The Minister of Public Works, Sun Chanthol, has confirmed that the data exchange system is a large-scale modernization of the control navigation in and out of Cambodia, going from a manual, to an automated system. This will help further facilitate the entry and exit of ships at Cambodian ports, in preparation for more international shipping.
The Minister added, "Before, when ships came in and out of Cambodia, the process of entry and exit was by filed [manually] on paper, so it took a long time. With the help of JICA, we have set up an electronic data exchange system at the port, so when ships first arrive in Cambodia, an online form is used instead so our competent officials can check all the documents and work as soon as the ship has arrived. Before, they had to wait for the ship to dock in the middle of the sea because their entry pass would not have arrived yet."
Currently, Cambodia has two major international ports: the Phnom Penh Autonomous Port and the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port. These ports provide inland and domestic shipping services, both of which operate manual shipping procedures. In anticipation of the number of ships and cargo increasing significantly in the future, this new electronic data exchange system is being implemented.
Sihanoukville Autonomous Port is notably strengthening its capacity and expanding its container terminal. It will soon be an international port that can hold more than one million containers per year making the cost of transport to Cambodia lower and similar to the shipping cost of the neighboring countries.