4m containers expected by 2025

Writer: 
Nilar
Containers at a port in Yangon (Photo-EMG)

Yangon’s ports are expected to receive more than two million containers by 2020, according to the Myanma Port Authority (MPA).

They received 890,000 containers in 2015, said Zaw Tun Lwin, deputy general manager from the MPA.

He said the number could increase to 4 million by 2025.

He added that the government was working to find better solutions to tackle cargo problems.

A container management system is being tested in Mandalay with the help of the Japan International Cooperation Agency to allow cargo shipping from central regions, such as Mandalay, Sagaing and Magway, where most rice, peas and corn are produced, according to Zaw Tun Lwin.

The government recently held discussions with businesses on how to jointly deal with cargo management as Yangon Region needs more storage space for containers and it lacks a reliable electricity supply and enough modern machinery. 

Military-appointed First Vice President Myit Swe, who leads a committee for development of the private sector, met business leaders on March 16 in Yangon to discuss port clearance operations across the country, to end long delays and address rising costs.

It is estimated that nearly 90 per cent of national trade is cleared at Yangon's ports, causing urban congestion.

The situation is expected to worsen as trade, worth US$25 billion (Bt875 billion) over the past year, rises in line with economic growth. It is estimated that the economy will grow by at least 7 per cent in the next two years.

"Transport has been a big issue for decades. Delays at the ports are directly related to the transport problems. A lot of containers remain at ports since the long Thingyan holiday [in April last year]. It is really hard to clear them if clearance services are available only in office hours," Aung Moe, vice president of the
Container Trucks Association.