It did not attract any ministerial attention last March, till the global shipping crisis hit
The idea of Thailand establishing its carrier was first mentioned, but was put at the backburner. Nobody expected world trade to be in hot water and held hostage by top liners. Thailand’s Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob just revealed the country’s port authority is evaluating the possibility of starting its shipping line.
Reducing dependence on foreign carriers
At the recent national shipping line committee meeting presided by Deputy Transport Minister Atirat Rattanaset, Minister Chidchob said, “The move would reduce Thailand’s dependence on foreign ships, cut transportation costs and the freight deficit, and enhance the competitiveness of Thai shipping.”
The Port Authority of Thailand was tasked with conducting a feasibility study and presenting the National Shipping Line Preparation Committee results. The project will then be proposed to Cabinet. The meeting agreed on an action plan to launch the national shipping line within one year.
It would seem that the country has also lost patience with the worldwide ludicrous shipping practices and unacceptable freight rates from major carriers. After all, shippers have also resorted to using their boxes since liners claimed a massive shortage resulting in surcharges. The pandemic is also a loosely-used excuse for carriers to charge more to ship to high-risk areas.
In hindsight, the country should have done this much earlier to gain some degree of shipping independence. Thailand has 5 major ports Laem Chabang and Bangkok, Chieng Saen Port, Chieng Khong and Ranong. Laem Chabang port alone handles 11.1 million TEU annually, and the port authority is still actively developing the facility. That should have been a strong prompt for the government to act on starting its carrier.
Marine Online News Team
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