By Nyein Nyein
The truck fares to China have hiked double in the coronavirus pandemic, said Chairman U Win Aung Khant of Muse Highway Freight Forwarders Association.
Although 12-wheel truck fares for Muse-Mandalay route cost only K700,000-950,000 before the outbreak of viral disease, the transport fares have risen to K1.8 million in this pandemic period. The charges of a 22-wheel truck for Muse-Mandalay route have increased up to K2.8 million from K1.3-1.4 million.
Similarly, a 12-wheel truck’s transportation charges for Muse-Yangon route have increased to K2.8 million from K1.2-1.4 million while the transport charges for a 22-wheel truck for Muse-Yangon route have risen to K3.8 million from K1.8-K2.1 million. With the double charges demanded by the trucks, the import sector is being faced with many difficulties, he said. “When the truck charges are doubling, we are being faced with difficulty to hire the truck. When we could not import the cargos to Myanmar, the cargos are stored in Kyaigaung and Shweli warehouses. According to such a market condition, the price of the imported products is on the rise because of the high demand and low supply. So, we are being faced with many difficulties,” he added.
Besides, the lack of loading and unloading labourers in the transportation sector is also posing a big problem. Previously, labour charges cost only K4,000 per tonne. At present, the labour charges have increased up to K12,000 per tonne. The trucks are waiting for four or five days in warehouses for lack of freight handlers.
China has been stepping up border control measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus since April with the truck having to wait in long queues in Muse and Kyalgaung because of the driver substitution policy. So, there has been a traffic delay resulting in unnecessary losses. China’s demand for Myanmar products are dropping, he stressed.
To ease the traffic problem, the association has requested the authorities concerned to grant the normal entry permit to Myanmar drivers, extend the capacity of borders between the two countries and reduce inspection time in China and streamline the unnecessary red tapes from Myanmar side. The association also wants the governments of the two countries to negotiate the border trade effectively, according to the association. (Translated by Hay Mar)