Bangkok Port set to open new customs department

Bangkok Port set to open new customs department

Bangkok Port is planning to offer a 15-20% discount on its logistics services as it is set to open its own customs department at the port in mid-March, to ease cargo ship queues at Laem Chabang Port in Chon Buri.

The discounts will apply to all logistics costs at Bangkok Port, including crane operating costs and packing cargo into containers before they are placed back onto their ships, said the port’s managing director, Komol Sribangpleenoi.

He said cargo which has been cleared by Bangkok Port’s customs will not have to receive a double inspection once they reach Laem Chabang Port in Chon Buri.

He said the discounts are currently awaiting the port board’s approval, but they will be officially instated by March.

The price cuts at Bangkok Port, located in Klong Toey, will be exercised “indefinitely”, he added.

Cargo ships in several Thai ports have been facing massive congestion, with journeys from Bangkok Port in Klong Toey to Laem Chabang Port in Chon Buri taking around four to five days in total on average, Mr Komol said.

“As of now, some cargo ships at Laem Chabang have to wait three to four days before they actually get inspected by customs and are cleared for departure,” he said.

“The longer the ships are stuck at the ports, the more money and time is lost for the respective businesses.

“With a new customs centre at Bangkok Port, the ships bound for Laem Chabang would not need to recheck their cargo,” he added.

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Mr Komol said a renovated berth for cargo ships in Bangkok Port will also be open by mid-March.

The berth, called Berth 20G, will feature a 250-metre extension to its wharf and two rail-mounted gantry cranes which can carry up to 40 tonnes of cargo each, per trip.

According to him, the wharf extension will allow the berth to hold around 400 more cargo containers per year.

The wharf’s 250-metre length will see it accommodate up to three small cargo vessels at a time, with a capacity of up to 11 vessels per day, Mr Komol said.

He added the overall renovations, valued at 450 million baht, will bump up Bangkok Port’s cargo capacity from 60,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) to up to 240,000 TEUs per year.

“While the maximum capacity is four times higher than the original figure, we will consider a 20% increase in service as the median for success,” he said.

“We will be working closely with the Customs Department to ease traffic on waterways, especially since there is a visible trend that traffic at Laem Chabang Port will increase in coming years.”

Laem Chabang, currently in its third phase of development, is awaiting an environmental health impact assessment (EHIA) on an expansion of its port area.

The port’s development has been met with mixed reactions from environmentalists and locals for its efforts to create more surface area by piling up sand over several hundred rai of coastline.

Deputy Transport Minister Pailin Chuchottaworn said the EHIA and subsequent tenders for the port’s development will be concluded by the end of the year.