• February 22, 2024

Thanaleng Dry Port ‘a boon for exporters’, operator says

The Thanaleng Dry Port in Vientiane, Laos’ first integrated logistics centre, offers proven cost-effective shipping options for exporters, its developer and operator has said.
Addressing a delegation from the Theory Council of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party’s Central Committee, the Vice President of Vientiane Logistics Park Co., Ltd., the developer of the dry port, Viengkhone Sitthixay, said that moving cargo through the dry port by rail takes a much shorter time than using the sea route, while the cost is not much different

Through the China-Europe rail network and the Laos-China railway, which converges with the Laos-Thailand railway at the dry port, cargo from Southeast Asia can reach Europe within two weeks as opposed to 45 days if shipped by sea

“From China, it takes just 12 days to reach Europe,” Mr Viengkhone told the delegation, which was led by the Council’s Vice President, Dr Khammone Chanthachit.
Through the trade route, which forms a crucial part of the global infrastructure network – the Belt and Road Initiative – trains from Laos run through China, Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus and Poland and terminate at Duisburg in Germany

Mr Viengkhone told the guests that his team has been invited to attend a meeting with stakeholders scheduled to take place in April to bolster rail transport from Laos to Duisburg.
Towards other Southeast Asian countries, the standard-gauge Laos-China railway converges with the one-metre-gauge Laos-Thailand railway at the dry port and, through Thailand, trains can travel on to Malaysia and Singapore.

The Lao dry port operator has signed a Memorandum of Cooperation with the Malaysian operator of Perlis Inland Port seeking cost-effective logistics and transport links between these countries and beyond.

Trial cargo transport by rail from Malaysia to Laos via Thailand takes about two and a half days. But the journey by shuttle train takes just one day as the train does not need to stop at as many stations as when making a normal trip. The transport cost is almost 30 percent cheaper compared to road transport, according to Mr Viengkhone. Through this route to Malaysia, exports can also reach Europe, India and South Africa by sea.

“It is an opportunity. It is a new route and a new opportunity,” he said.

Opening for service in December 2021, the dry port functions as an international border checkpoint for freight transport on the railway and has increasingly become a transport hub for the sub-region and beyond.

In 2022, the dry port handled 49,183 containers, of which 36,768 were destined for import and export, while 12,415 containers were in transit. The containers were shipped to countries such as Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Malaysia, Singapore, China and Russia.

This direct trade route has enabled Thai exporters to cut costs by about 30 percent when sending freight to China compared to transport by road.

Mr Viengkhone assured the guests that he could offer services at a competitive price. Vientiane Logistics Park Co., Ltd. is also setting up a logistics park to welcome foreign investment. The park includes an export processing zone, logistics park, free trade zone, and technology and halal hub.

The US$195 million dry port and logistics park are a crucial component of the Lao Logistics Link project being developed by PTL Holding Company Limited, the parent company of Vientiane Logistics Park Co., Ltd.

This strategically important project also includes the Vung Ang seaport in Vietnam’s central Ha Tinh province, a planned railway linking the seaport to the dry port in Vientiane, and a dry port in central Khammuan province through which the railway will pass.

The visiting delegation was also welcomed by the President of the Executive Board of Strategy and Planning at PTL Holding Company Limited, Mr Alounkeo Kittikhoun.