Bt32-bn plan to improve Laem Chabang Port infrastructure
The Ministry of Transport plans to spend Bt32 billion to expand its road network to Laem Chabang Port to ease traffic and also increase the port's shipping container capacity.
Deputy Transport Minister Prasert Chantararuangthong said after an operations meeting that the move was part of a plan to improve infrastructure connecting to the port. Also, the plans are aimed at preparing the port for the Asean Economic Community in 2015, in the hope of increasing shipping efficiency.
Under the plan, if it is an urgent project, funds will be used from the 2014 annual budget. If it is a big project, the budget will come from the Loan Act of Bt2 trillion.
Currently, 60,000 container trucks access Laem Chabang Port per day, leading to traffic congestion. As one of Thailand's major ports, the ministry intends to increase its capacity to 11 million twenty-foot-equivalent units of containers, up from the current 7 million TEU. This plan will be achieved by expanding both internal and external shipping networks of the port.
Meanwhile, the Department of Highways also has a plan to expand the road network to support the logistics system in the Eastern region and Laem Chabang Port with a total budget of about Bt29 billion. For example, it will expand the number of lanes on the road leading to the port from four to 14 with a budget of Bt2.5 billion. The Department of Rural Roads has plans for seven projects to construct a road connecting with the port.
At present, the port faces serious traffic problems on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. The problem is from the place where the tax document is issued, which is too close to the checking gate. Also, the e-toll system for vehicles has not worked completely.
Currently, road transport to the port makes up 90 per cent of the total, followed by 6 per cent by rail, and 4 per cent by water. The plan is that within 10 years, road transport to the port will represent 75 per cent of the total, followed by 15 per cent by rail and 10 per cent by water.
On average, at major ports worldwide road transport makes up 40 per cent while rail and water are 30 per cent each.