Sihanoukville port rides wave of increasing container traffic
Sihanoukville Autonomous Port (PAS), which operates the Kingdom’s only deepsea port, reported a modest increase in container traffic during the first six months of the year, compared to a year earlier, a trend its director said should result in higher profits for the listed company.
Data obtained from PAS yesterday showed a total of 211,719 20-foot equivalent units, or TEU, passed through the seaport between January and June of this year, an 8 percent increase compared to the same period in 2016. The higher throughput follows a slowdown in growth last year in which container traffic increased by just 2 percent.
Lou Kim Chhun, director general of PAS, said yesterday that the rebound in container traffic growth was the result of Cambodia’s vibrant import and export market, which should be expected for a country that is enjoying 7 percent GDP growth. PAS also recently added new rubber-tyred gantry cranes, which expanded its handling capacity and helped to build more confidence in the port’s operations, he noted.
“Based on the good performance in the first half, we expect double-digit growth of container traffic this year,” he said. “The increased growth of cargo traffic will enlarge our profit margin, which in turn will enable us to distribute high dividends to our stock investors.”
The increase in port container traffic was distributed evenly between imports and exports. According to PAS data, imports increased by 8.4 percent year-on-year to 107,181 TEU during the first half, while exports increased by 7.7 percent year-on-year to 104,538.
PAS debuted on Cambodia’s stock exchange in June after an initial public offering that raised $27 million. It was the fifth company to list on the Cambodian Securities Exchange.