AoT aims to double cargo-handling cash
Airports of Thailand (AoT) plans to set up a sister company to operate its centre for pre-export agricultural product inspection, in an effort to attract more customers in China, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam to help double its annual income from cargo-handling services.
The establishment of the new company will be completed in two months, while the product certifying centre at Suvarnabhumi airport will be open for service in six months after a new cold-storage facility is built for perishable food products, said Nitinai Sirismatthakarn, president of the AoT, on Tuesday.
Potential customers in CLMV countries have expressed strong interest in switching from Singapore to Thailand where they will be offered a premium version of the export goods-certifying service, which is more or less a VIP channel, he said.
These products will be exported first to Dubai and then Belgium before they will be distributed onward to other destinations in Europe, he said.
The new centre will also benefit Thai producers of agricultural products as they will find it more convenient to export their products with the assistance offered by the centre, he said.
Currently, Suvarnabhumi airport handles 1.5 million tonnes of cargo per year, the 15th largest amount in the world, he said.
Of this amount, 150,000 tonnes are perishable goods.
And with the new centre set up, the airport expects to earn up to 1 billion baht per year in income from cargo-handling services compared with the current 300-500 million baht a year, he said.
In related news, the Port Authority of Thailand (PAT) said the global economic slowdown coupled with the lingering US-Chinese trade war has stalled expected growth in export cargo shipments through its ports to only 3% this year.
PAT director Kamolsak Promprayoon said the PAT is now conducting a feasibility study into a plan to upgrade Klong Yai Port in Trat province into a so-called strategic port for marine transport logistics as part of the Eastern Economic Corridor scheme.
The upgrade is expected to be completed in October and the port will serve the transportation of cargo between Thailand and Cambodia and southern Vietnam.
The value of border trade between Thailand and Cambodia last year was recorded at 145.7 billion baht, a 16% increase, he said.