OTP eyes more 'dry port' container depots

May.24 2018

The Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning (OTP) is drafting a master plan to develop more inland container depots across the country to lessen cargo congestion and shift part of the volume from trucks to railways.
The master plan will be completed in November. Then, the office will send it to the Ministry of Transport for approval, Wilairat Sirisoponsilp, deputy chief of the OTP told a seminar yesterday.
Known in the shipping industry as "dry ports," the inland container depots, according to the master plan, will be located within a 300km radius of the main sea ports.
These dry ports must be located near railway routes and have services such as custom clearance offices, according to the draft of the plan.
The development of inland container depots is part of the country's plan to shift more cargo from trucks to trains.
These dry ports will be used for container loading and storing. The containers will be transported to the ports by train. Currently, most inland container depots are located near sea ports. Cargo is mostly hauled by trucks.
Ms Wilairat said the exact locations of these dry ports have not been confirmed. "Ideally, these facilities must be located nearby railways to make container transport easier."
The master plan will study future development of dry ports in southern districts because the authority is planning to build new sea ports there, such as one in Satun province.
However, the major target is Laem Chabang deep-sea port in Chon Buri province.
"They [inland container depots] must be constructed in tandem with port development projects, such as Laem Chabang phase 3, which are also aimed at increasing overall efficiency in the country's logistics industry."
Located in Chon Buri, Laem Chabang port is the largest port in Thailand, spanning over 6,200 rai.
It is touted as an instrument for the current government to fast-track the Eastern Economic Corridor which comprises Chon Buri, Rayong and Chachoengsao.
The third phase will be built on 1,600 rai and is waiting for the Environment Ministry to approve its environmental impact assessment.

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