Container handling delays at Yangon’s ports to be addressed within three weeks: Union Minister

CONTAINER handling delays and problems at harbours in Yangon will be addressed within three weeks, Union Minister for Commerce Dr Than Myint told the media yesterday.
Combined efforts of the departments concerned including the ministry, The Myanmar Port Authority and Customs Department will be made to address delays in container handling operations that have been occurring since the end of the country’s Thingyan Water Festival, said the Union minister after a meeting at UMFCCI.
During the Thingyan period, 12 container vessels carrying more than 10,000 containers arrived in Yangon.  According to sources, Yangon, the country’s commercial city, has encountered similar problems in container handling operations yearly since 2008.
Narrow harbors for unloading containers from cargo ships and a lack of 24-hour management at ports are blamed for delays in container handling operations, said sources.
Moreover, Yangon’s traffic congestions are hampering the flow of commodities, sources added. U Zaw Tun Lwin, deputy general manager of the Myanmar Port Authority, said that 24-hour services at ports will be in place to address current difficulties and to ensure the smooth flow of commodities by increasing staff strength and the number of machinery needed for handling operations.
The Customs Department will provide a one-stop service and complaints at ports will be handled and addressed as soon as possible, he added.  According to the Customs Department there are six ports that can provide container handling operations in Yangon and they handle nearly 200 containers each day.
Among those ports the Myanmar Industrial Port and Asia World port operate container handling the most.  Ko Nyi Nyi, a container mover, said that it takes about three days for a container to come out of the port as only three X-ray facilities are conducting cargo scanning at MIP where there are frequent minor traffic incidents.  According to sources, the Myanmar Automated Cargo Clearance System-MACCS provided by the Japanese government is expected to be operational at the end of this year. Union Minister Dr Than Myint said earlier that the new government is planning to triple export volumes during its five-year term. Myanmar earned US$15 billion from its export sector during the previous fiscal year.— Ko Moe

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