Phnom Penh Port Says City Center Ban on Trucks Hurting Exports

The Phnom Penh Autonomous Port has requested that City Hall reduce the length of its daily ban forbidding container trucks from traveling on Phnom Penh roads between 5 a.m. and 9 p.m. because cargo is unable to reach the port, resulting in a decrease in exports, officials said Thursday.

The ban was implemented on November 1 at the behest of Phnom Penh governor Pa Socheatvong, who approved the decision in order to reduce congestion in the city center.

“I understand the ban is to not allow heavy trucks to get in the city so as to reduce traffic accidents and traffic jams, but it affects our exports because we have four scheduled times for shipping per month during those hours,” said Phnom Penh Port deputy director Eang Veng Sun. “We will have to transport the cargo by plane for now.”

Mr. Veng Sun said the port wants City Hall to change the ban’s end time from 9 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. He added that his chief of administration had already met on Wednesday with City Hall to discuss the matter

“We requested the municipal administrative officials on Wednes­day to ask the governor to give more time for heavy trucks to get in the city [and travel to the port] because the ban is affecting ex­ports at the port,” he said.

Contacted Thursday, Mr. Socheatvong said that City Hall was looking into finding a solution.

“We are going to find a compromise to give a priority to the Phnom Penh Port so that it would receive more time [for trailer trucks] because, in this case, we understand that strengthening rules for traffic affects exports and also loses the state revenue,” he said.

One solution, he said, is for the city to allow trailer trucks to travel on the city’s roads between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. and 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

“We will hold a meeting tomorrow with Phnom Penh Port officials to discuss,” he said.

So Nguon, director of transportation company the So Nguon Group, said his company’s trailer trucks have faced some problems transporting cargo to the port, but switched working hours from day to night to accommodate the ban.

Clogged streets in Phnom Penh have been a problem for years and continue to be an issue as more Cambodians buy cars.

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