Thailand Maritime News, 2021 Nov-Dec Summary

State shipping company to fly ‘hub’ flag
20 Dec 2021
The government plans to set up a national shipping line company to promote Thailand as a regional logistics hub for maritime trade.
Government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said on Sunday that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha instructed state agencies to study the possibility and cost-effectiveness of setting a shipping line company.
The project would be in line with the Southern Land Bridge project that will enable cargo transport between the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea.
A working panel preparing for the setting up of the company, led by Deputy Transport Minister Atirat Ratanasate, is now in talks with the Port Authority of Thailand (PAT) to commission the PAT to conduct a feasibility study into the matter, Mr Thanakorn said.
An agreement is expected next month and the study is expected to be finished in May before being presented for cabinet in September next year, he said, adding the company will then be set up within a year.
The panel instructed the Marine Department and the PAT to study the possibility of offering privileges to the private sector to persuade more operators to hoist their ships with Thai national flags, he said.
“The PM has a policy to boost Thailand’s competitiveness in marine transport to scale down its dependence on foreign-owned ships, reduce transport costs and the trade deficit resulting from freight costs charged by foreign-owned ships for sending cargo,” Mr Thanakorn said.
The PM also plans to support efforts to establish a national fleet of commercial vessels, and related industries, such as shipyards. Another aim is to improve the skills of commercial shipping personnel to push for Thailand to become a marine logistics hub, Mr Thanakorn said.

Thailand needs national carrier, probably more than one
It is not clear yet, how final decisions will look like, with regards to Thailand plan to boost three-dimensional sea trade: Domestic in Gulf of Thailand all along the Gulf of Thailand, from the south to central regions and the east; East-oriented shipping to Vietnam, Cambodia, South Korea, Japan and eastern China; and West-oriented international route from Ranong to the Bay of Bengal region, embracing services which ill connect Thailand with Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and onwards to Africa and Europe. Plan is aiming at establishing national shipping carrier, probably not one but three, to cover all three direction and regions. Feasibility studies are under way, and hopefully, during 2022 we’ll see something resolute and decisive. One issue should be acknowledged unequivocally – Thailand needs national carrier for all types of shipping – regional as well as trans-continental. Last decade and of course, freight rates insane jump during last two years, demonstrated the fragility and lack of reliability of “conventional” shipping, driven by major multinational corporations. Nations economies just can’t depend on the whims or greed or other issues, which dictate corporations rates and carrier-client policies.

Rubber producers found the way to bypass container crisis, good for them!
Thailand rubber producers found a way out of container crisis, by using instead of containers, steel boxes, to storage product, and bulk carriers to transport the goods to buyers. Most convenient port for this shift happened to be Southern Logistics Port, Songkhla District, so now 4 main rubber producers in southern regions of Thailand, turned to the new method. There’s bonus in steel boxes cost, to start with, it’s 40-50% less than standard container.
November 20, 2021

GPC Consortium signs PPP contract for Laem Chabang Port Phase III Project
Nov 25, 2021
GPC International Terminal Ltd. (GPC) has signed a public-private partnership (PPP) contract with the Port Authority of Thailand (PAT) to develop and operate the Laem Chabang Port Phase 3, Terminal F project in Chonburi province. The investment value in terms of the berth structure development is 30,871 million baht. This joint endeavor aims to push the Laem Chabang Port towards the gateway of trade and investment, which will potentially drive Thailand towards becoming a regional hub and increase the country’s competitive edge. The port is expected to open for commercial operations by 2025.
GPC is a joint venture between Gulf Energy Development plc (GULF), PTT Tank Terminal Company Limited (PTT TANK) and CHEC OVERSEA INFRASTRUCTURE HOLDING PTE. LTD. (CHEC OVERSEA) where GULF holds a 40% stake, while PPT TANK and CHEC OVERSEA hold 30% of the shares respectively.
For the development of the Laem Chabang Port Phase 3, PAT will be in charge of sea reclamation while GPC will be responsible for the design, construction, and operation and maintenance (O&M) services for F1 and F2 container berths to accommodate container throughput and implement automation technology for the operation of the project. The port can handle a container throughput capacity of 4 million TEU/year. GPC will receive remuneration as income from port operations such as berth hire, wharf handling charges, container wharfage and other related fees according to the scope and conditions of the 35-year PPP contract. Construction will begin on the F1 container berth in 2023 and commercial operations are scheduled for 2025 while construction will begin on the F2 container berth in 2027 and scheduled for commercial operations by 2029.



My name is Mikhail Voytenko, I’m Russian, professional merchant marine navigator, by education and former experience. I own and run Maritime Bulletin website for more than 10 years. I've been involved in solving a number of piracy hijack cases, including the hijack of ro-ro FAINA, loaded with tanks. It was me who made public, and unravel, freighter ARCTIC SEA mystery. I've been also closely involved in a number of maritime disaster, one of them being MSC FLAMINIA major fire.