Bangkok Port is preparing to open bidding for a container freight station (CFS), one of four initiatives the Port Authority of Thailand (PAT) is undertaking to maximize the facility’s potential.
The projects include export and import container freight stations, the 20G coastal berth in Terminal 2, and a one-stop service centre. After the export CFS is completed, the import CFS will follow. The new berth and the service centre are expected to complete the projects.
“Our aim initially is to develop the area along the waterfront to maximize its potential while moving container operations further back to a dedicated import-export container freight station,” Chamnan Chairith, director of Bangkok Port, said of the immediate goal. Longer-term, the aim is for a more efficient facility working to fast-evolving international standards and ship sizes.
The export CFS will comprise a CFS building for export container loading of 10,000 square metres, with 26 discharge levelers and 26 dock loading levelers, a container yard of around 9,000 square metres to accommodate up to 792 containers, a truck parking area of 2,700 square metres, a four-story office building and three e-gates.
“The project is now under the terms of reference drafting process, which will be finalized and officially open for bidding (e-auction) within the next 1-2 months. After a contractor wins the e-auction, the construction shall be started within this year and is expected to complete and open in fiscal year 2019,” said one Port Authority of Thailand official who asked not to be named.
It is hoped the CFS, which is priced at B1.3 billion (US$38.2 million), has the capacity to facilitate 120,000 TEUs annually, one official told Asia Cargo News. “It will enhance Bangkok Port’s performance in terms of a better flow of export cargoes,” added the official.
Once that’s done, work will commence on the import CFS. Completion of the CFS projects will bring a number of benefits to the port, including clear demarcation of operations, more efficient container loading, improved traffic management within the port and faster container truck turn-around time.
Next up will be a coastal port development in the port’s east quay in preparation for anticipated increases in container volume and the number of coastal vessel calls. This will also help integrate and streamline maritime transportation.
This project involves development of the 150-metre quayside area at Berth 20G, installation of a high-voltage electricity supply to support efficient container handling and deployment of two rail-mounted gantry cranes capable of lifting loads of at least 40 metric tons each. CCTV will also be installed.
Once completed, the revamped Berth 20G will be capable of accommodating around 4,000 coastal vessels annually with a container handling capacity of 240,000 TEUs per year. This will make the parallel development of a container yard to store an additional 22,000 TEUs of containers per year seem small.
“The 20G berth is being developed as a result of changing shipping trends in Thailand. We are increasingly seeing larger but fewer vessels operating between Laem Chabang Port (LCP) and overseas destinations, while larger numbers of coastal vessels or barges are serving the route between LCP and Bangkok Port. Container throughput at Bangkok Port is also forecast to increase. Coastal berths are being developed to accommodate vessels operating between the two ports,” Chamnan said.
The service centre will integrate the services of the Port Authority of Thailand and other agencies, such as customs and shipping agencies, under one roof.
“Currently as many as 10 different agencies have to be contacted during port operations but we will bring them all together in the One Stop Service Centre, which will be built at the site of the current engineering department,” said Chamnan. The centre will also house the operations offices of Bangkok Port. Detailed design will be undertaken next year with construction getting under way in 2019. Construction should take about two years to complete.