The Phnom Penh Port Authority on Monday publicized plans to create two mobile domestic ports in Kratie and Stung Treng provinces in hopes of increasing waterway trade between the provinces and Phnom Penh.
The Phnom Penh International Port is willing to spend $20,000 to establish the ports, which will load goods by crane onto barges to be shipped up and down the Mekong River, Phnom Penh Port Director-General Hei Bavy said.
The ports are part of a greater plan to reduce the cost of provincial trade with Vietnam and Laos, which has been limited to costly land transportation, Hei Bavy said.
“We try to help as much as we can, for the clients who need to transport goods from Kratie and Stung Treng to Phnom Penh Port,” he said, adding that the Phnom Penh Port Authority currently is working with the China Shipping Co to get the project off the ground.
The partners are exploring ways to establish shipping lines between the upper stream of the Mekong River and Phnom Penh that could be continued to Vietnam or extended to Sihanoukville via land, Hei Bavy said. Containers weighing as much as 200 tons can be shipped over the proposed route in the rainy season, while just 80 tons can be shipped during the dry season, he said. The shipping lines could open as soon as June or July.
Pao Ham Phan, Stung Treng province’s third deputy governor, said he hoped the ports would increase trade activity between Mekong countries and help to complete the Asean highway that currently runs from China to Laos.
He said provincial authorities have reserved a piece of land where a cargo port, warehouses and container parks may be built, but noted that of a higher priority was to finish the roads needed to link the Lao border with Stung Treng and Phnom Penh.
A similar mobile port currently is up and running in Kompong Cham province, where between 50 and 100 containers are shipped back and forth between the province and Phnom Penh each month, Hei Bavy said.