Thai logistics services providers have been advised to adjust themselves in response to rising competition when the Asean community becomes a single market, effective in 2015.
Chula Sukmanop, inspector-general at the Ministry of Transport, said at a seminar yesterday titled "Thaialnd's Logistics Strategy for The Centre of Connectivity in Asean" that transportation among Asean countries would become more convenient after Asean becomes a single market.
Thailand would also open its road routes, covering a total length of more than 4,000 kilometres, including railways, for other Asean countries. Therefore, Thai logistics firms need to increase their competitiveness to serve higher demand for shipments from and to Thailand, which is expected to increase by an average of 10 per cent annually.
He said Thailand has the readiness in terms of road transport and is also centrally located, surrounded by many Asean countries like Burma, Cambodia and Laos. The country was asked to be a hub of regional logistics and transport.
In terms of regulatory, he said state agencies would be given a bigger role of issuing transport licences and collecting revenue in terms of toll fees. However, the regulations to be applied to Asean countries would be under the same standard.
Lt Sutthinan Hathawong RTN, deputy managing director of Laem Chabang Port, Thailand, said the port is also ready for AEC's single market. The port is upgrading to become a complete e-logistics and e-port to make it convenient for transport.
Moreover, the port would expand its third phase to serve a rise in shipments, becoming capable of carrying more than 18 20-feet equivalent containers a year and automotive vehicles for exports at 1 million units a year.
Currently, a 78km double-track railway from Chachoengsao via Sri Racha to Laem Chabang by the State Railways of Thailand is expected to open soon after construction was completed last month.
The railway was built at a cost of Bt3.93 billion. This will help transport more goods and products by rail to the port instead of by road. Shipments by trucks to the port account for 88.36 per cent while by rail is 9.39 per cent and the rest is by barge.