Starting from last week, freight transport has been slow 30 per cent of highway trucks have halted their transportation service, according to Myanmar Highway Freight Transportation Service Association (MHFTSA). Freight charges for high way trucks from Yangon to Mandalay, Muse, Magway, Ayeyawady, Pyay and other areas have significantly dropped as volume of shipment is down. Following suspension of truck service, we are discussing with freight forwarders to scale up 5 to 10 per cent of freight cost, said U Ko Ko Naing, chair of MHFTSA.
“Yearly, goods flow usually moves slow in July, August and September. However, dollar appreciation and high fuel oil price has drastically affected freight transportation”, he said.
At present, China has suspended purchase of goods through border trade channels. Therefore, freight shipment volume has declined. Freight cost has decreased from 81,000 to Ks68,000 per ton for Yangon-Muse route and from Ks38,000 to Ks31,000 per ton for Yangon-Mandalay route. Similarly, 30 per cent of transportation service in Magway, Pyay, Ayeyawady and other places are being suspended. Freight cost of highway trucks depends on volume of shipment.
“We will not completely halt our freight service although we are struggling with current situation. Those suspended trucks will resume their businesses after new freight cost is set. Currently, merchants are also adjusting placing their goods on market, with the US dollar fluctuating. We are running transportation service as suspension will harm earning of the truck drivers and assistants, said U Kyin Thein, Yangon-Taunggyi freight forwarder.
At present, frequency of six-wheeled trucks decreased from 10 to 5-6 times a month. Similarly, frequency of ten-wheeled truck declines from 5-6 to 2 times. Income of freight service has droped remarkably, due to lower frequency of trucks and decrease in freight cost, said the freight forwarders.
“Only 15 per cent of overall freight charges are left for owners, after deducing fuel oil price, driver and assistant wages, toll charges on road and bridges”, said U Hla Aung, Yangon-Kyauktan highway truck owner.
There are two freight services in highway transportation sector, service for general goods and charter truck service for particular single item. The trucks running for various goods are currently suspended.
There are 14 main routes for highway freight service, with 70,000 heavy trucks and nearly 200,000 light trucks.
By May Thet Hnin