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Ayutthaya site of Thailand's first river port

Ayutthaya site of Thailand's first river port

Bangkok: Exporters in the North and Northeast will be able to export their goods more easily and at lower cost thanks to CP Trading Group's inauguration of Thailand's Kingdom's first river port, linking inland industries through waterways, writes CargoNewsAsia.

Wholly owned by the company, Ayutthaya Port & ICD, it will begin commercial operation next month. The US$23.55 million investment will provide for four cranes and other advanced facilities with total loading capacity reaching 450,000 TEUs per year.

The company's second phase of investment of another $20.61 million will focus on establishing its depot on the 300 rai of land on the opposite site of the port at Nakhon Luang, Ayutthaya. The project's construction will start next year.

The investment is aimed not only at facilitating the company's business transportation but also at creating public services and reducing air pollution. It will directly benefit inland industries and farm crop exporters by connecting road with marine transportation through Laem Chabang Seaport.

Prasit Damrongchietanon, chief executive officer of the group, said that export by marine transportation would reduce costs by an average of 10-20 per cent.

The river port will draw customers from the North and the Northeast to take their goods by road to Ayutthaya and transfer them to ships there.

Ships will reach Laem Chabang within 22 hours. Traditional barges take 48-52 hours to reach the seaport.

The port is also being set up to reduce traffic problem of Lat Krabang ICD, which now handles a total of 1.6 million containers per year.

The new river port and ICD will allow the company to connect all means of transportation: road, marine and rail freight.

Roads now carry 88-90 per cent of the kingdom's goods, and marine shipments are only four to five per cent. In addition, logistics costs account for 20 per cent of the country's gross domestic product compared with 12 per cent in developed countries.