Thai port authorities consider third container terminal in Bangkok

Aerial top view of container cargo ship in the export and import business and logistics international goods in urban city. Shipping cargo to the harbour by crane. Credit: Getty Images
Credit: Getty Images

The Port Authority of Thailand (PAT) has begun a feasibility study to develop another container terminal in Bangkok Port and will discuss investments over a period of 2–3 years.

It is projected that having another container terminal will increase the annual throughput of Bangkok Port from 1.5 million TEU to 2.6 million TEU.

If the PAT decides to build a third container terminal, the construction and operation is likely to be in the form of public-private projects or a build-operate-transfer model. The latter method is a form of project financing in which a private entity receives a concession from the private or public sector to finance, design, construct, own, and operate a facility.

Bangkok Port is along the Chao Phraya River and its two current container terminals are already operated by the PAT. The port’s inland location limits access to ships with individual capacities of up to about 1,800 TEU. Larger container ships, therefore, tend to call at Laem Chabang, which is two hours from Bangkok.

The total length of the quay is 1,200 m and the water depth is up to 8.5 m. 

Although located inland, Bangkok Port is near industrial complexes such as Ayutthaya. The PAT is reportedly considering converting a multipurpose terminal, which has a quay length of 360 m, to the west of the existing container terminals, with the Phra Khanong canal between the facilities. The PAT plans for the terminal to continue to handle multipurpose cargoes, enabling it to enjoy higher cargo volumes.

Should the third container terminal be developed, the PAT aims to build a container warehouse on the terminal in order to encourage shippers to use the facility.

There are container terminals in Bangkok Port that are operated by the private sector, but these are not large facilities due to the limited space.

Japanese shipping group Mitsui OSK Lines established the Bangkok Barge Terminal in 2015 with a local port logistics company, Sahathai Terminal, but this is purely a barge terminal.

In January 2019, Sahathai Terminal signed a memorandum of understanding with APM Terminals and local sugar producer Mitr Phol Sugar to develop a greenfield container terminal in Bangkok.