Total container volume in Thailand in 2020 fell by 5.49% year on year to 9.58m teu. Imports fell by 4.85% to 4.91m teu, while exports decreased by 6.14% to 4.66m teu, reported Maritime Bulletin.
Thai exporters were suffering from a lack of empty containers and excessive volatility in freight rates.
In an attempt to boost trade the Port Authority of Thailand (PAT) is to reduce the port fee for exporters. It will also permit ships more than 300 metres long, replacing this cap with a 400-metre limit.
The Ministry hopes that the increase in length limit will attract large containerships to Laem Chabang, providing it with more empty containers. They would then fill them with exports for direct international calls, skipping transshipment to Singapore, Malaysian ports and Hong Kong.
By December 2020 Europe’s shipping rates were up by between 160% an 220% year on year, while rates in Asia were up by between 17% and 100%. Fees for containers to and from Australia were up by between 112% and 197%, while for trade to the US the rates were up by between 73% and 196%.
The ministry plans to promote and stimulate exports to China via land. it is also accelerating negotiations with Laos, Vietnam and China to facilitate land transport through the borders.