Cambodia plans to revive water transport system

International Business News – Cambodia plans to revive the waterway transport system, including deepening inland waterways to connect seaports and river ports, thereby improving the waterway transport system and reducing logistics costs.

Under the proposed national logistics master plan, the Cambodian government will revive the waterways and maritime transport system, including deepening the depth and width of the waterways, said Masid, director of the Waterways and Maritime Transport Bureau of the Cambodian Ministry of Public Works and Transport.

Masid pointed out that the existing waterway is too shallow for larger cargo ships to pass through the waterway to transport goods from Cambodian seaports to inland river ports, which must be re-exported through Vietnam.

“After deepening the waterway, larger freighters can directly enter the waterway and deliver goods to designated river ports through our waterway transportation system, which will virtually reduce transportation costs.”

Masid said that at present, the Vietnamese government requires that all re-export shipments must submit documents to the Ministry of Industry and Trade in advance, which leads to the need for importers and exporters to handle more documents; and the shipping fee from Vietnam port to Phnom Penh port is 20 per cent. $100 for a 1-foot container, and $200 for a 40-foot container.

Masid said that after deepening the waterway and developing the seaport in Kep, cargo ships with a throughput of between 1,000 and 3,000 tons will be able to pass through the port, enter the inland waterway and lead to various river ports. In addition, containers unloaded from Sihanoukville Seaport can also be transported to Baima Seaport by land or rail, and then loaded on cargo ships and transported to inland provinces and cities in Cambodia by waterways.

Masid disclosed that the ministry also plans to develop the “Baise River Logistics System and Waterway Transportation Development Project” to “open up” the waterway between the Baima Seaport and the Phnom Penh River Port.

“After deepening the waterway, the freighter can go directly to the river port in Zion County, Kandal Province through the Baima Seaport.”

Cambodia’s inland waterway is 1,750 kilometers long, but only 780 kilometers can be passed by ships. Major river systems include the Mekong (30%), the Tonle Sap (15%) and the Baise (5%).