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Port at Sihanoukville Sees Growth in Imports, Exports

A Cambodian flag on a fishing boat flutters in wind as the sun sets over the Gulf of Thailand near Cambodia's port town of Sihanoukville.

The number of cargo and cruise ships moving in and out of the port at Sihanoukville continues to increase. More than 2.2 million tons of cargo moved through the port in the first seven months of this year, officials say, an increase of some 200,000 tons.

That’s a signal of a growing economy, which means an increase in both the import and export of goods. Machinery, construction materials and raw goods for textiles are brought in, while finished textiles and agricultural products, mainly rice, go out, Lou Kimchhun, director of the port, told VOA Khmer.

This year, 1.6 million tons of goods were imported in the first seven months; 607,000 tons were exported.

“Most of the export goods were rice and textiles, which shipped to Europe and America,” Lou Kimchhun said.

The movement of goods could see an increase as much as 20 percent by the end of the year, he said. In 2014, 3.4 million tons of cargo moved through the port, up from about 3 million tons the year before.

And the number of cruise ships coming in and out of port has increased. There have been 771 of them for the first seven months this year, compared to 636 in the same period last year. Large ships can carry 1,900 people, Lou Kimchhun said, and smaller ones carry between 500 and 600.

With all that activity, he said, the port will soon be equipped with more heavy machinery, to help move even more goods.