The feasibility studies for key logistics complexes in Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville are expected to be concluded before the end of the year, according to the president of the Cambodia Freight Forwarders Association (CAMFFA)Sin Chanthy, CAMFFA president, told Khmer Times the reports will be concluded soon, possibly before the end of the year.
“As far as I know, the feasibility studies of the complexes will soon be completed,” he said, adding that: “But we don’t know when construction will begin.”
In a report released last week, the Ministry of Public Works and Transport said the feasibility study for the logistics centre in the capital is being conducted with the help of the Asian Development Bank, while the International Monetary Fund is assisting with the study for the complex in Sihanoukville.
The constructions of logistics centres are an important part of the government’s Logistics Master Plan. They are expected to expand options for land, rail and water transportation, and reduce logistics costs, enhancing the competitiveness of local products and services.
Pich Chhieng, director of the General Directorate of Logistics, could not be reached for comment on Monday, but previously told Khmer Times that work on the feasibility study for Phnom Penh began in July and will finish in October or November.
Mr Chanthy said logistics complexes act as a “one-stop service centre” for import and export activities, bringing together the relevant government institution and private companies.
“The complex will serve as a place where all transportation-related documents can be processed, saving companies time and reducing the cost of transportation,” he said.“By building these facilities, we hope that the logistics sector in Cambodia can be improved,” said Mr Chanthy.
He noted that the factories will be connected to the logistics centres, who, in turn, are connected to ports and airports.
Mr Chanthy noted that cargo traffic at local ports has been steadily rising over the last few years, with particularly strong growth in 2018 and 2019 that has led to congestion.
“To improve the situation, the construction of logistics centres should be prioritised. They will play a critical role in reducing congestion.
“Neighboring countries like Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Singapore already have such centres,” he said.Cargo traffic at Sihanoukville Autonomous Port (PAS) rose by 18 percent during the first nine months of the year compared with the same period last year.
From January to July, state-owned Phnom Penh Autonomous Port handled 150,419 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), a 29.5 hike compared with the same seven-month period last year.
In an interview with Khmer Times last week, Miyao Masahiro, chief representative of the Japan External Trade Organisation, said transportation in Cambodia is significantly more expensive than in neighbouring countries and represents an important barrier to attracting foreign investment.
“The number of ships coming to Cambodia’s ports is lower than those coming to Vietnam’s and Thailand’s, which means transportation costs increase,” he said.