By Praornpit Katchwattana -August 26, 2021
If referring to Thailand International Trade Report May 2021 by the Office of Trade Policy and Strategy Ministry of Commerce. It is evident that despite the Covid-19 crisis This will result in the market for many types of products in the country continues to stagnate. But Thailand’s export situation in May 2021 continued to expand as high as 41.59%, the highest rate in almost 11 years, with a value of US $23,057.91 million. Of course, in the process of exporting products to foreign countries ,There are quite a number of goods that are transported by sea, and in this number must go through the berth Which is definitely under the supervision of Hutchison Ports Thailand (HPT), a leading port operator in Thailand.
In this regard, from the press conference, Hutchison Ports Thailand, which revealed the direction of the business in 2021, confirmed the trend of Thai exports that are bright even in the era of Covid. The first half of 2021 is an increase of more than 10 percent compared to the previous year. This is the period when Thailand’s import business sector has grown more than 26.2 percent. Meanwhile, the value of exports increased by 15.5 percent thanks to the recovery of Thai export business from 2020, bringing the overall total value of Thailand’s exports to US$ 132.3 billion in the first half of this year.
In this press release , In addition to the presentation on the business direction of Hutchison Ports Thailand amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the progress of the Terminal D cargo terminal and container terminal was also presented. This is Hutchison Port’s new flagship port as large as four Premier League football stadiums. It is also used to manage the most advanced terminal and container terminals in the region.
Update the business direction of Hutchison Ports Thailand with the opportunity to grow against the crisis trend.
Mr. Stephen Ashworth , Managing Director of Hutchison Ports Thailand and Southeast Asia have begun to mention strategy and business practices of Hutchison Ports Thailand amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Hutchison Ports (Hutchison Port Holdings Limited) is a wholly owned subsidiary of CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd (CK Hutchison), a Hong Kong-based multinational innovation and technology company with offices in more than 50 countries around the world. It operates a wide variety of businesses, categorized into 6 main business segments, namely Ports and related services, Finance and investment, Retail, Infrastructure, Energy and Telecommunications.”
“For the potential of Hutchison Ports Group, we have a worldwide network of 52 port terminals around the world, spreading in 26 countries , including Asia, the Middle East, South Africa, Europe, the Americas and Australia. By 2020, Hutchison Ports has achieved global coverage of 11 percent Global Container Volume.”
In terms of Hutchison Ports Thailand (HPT) Group, in 2020, we have handled over 3 million TEUs of container shipments, representing 30 percent of the total market share in Thailand. Employing more than 1,300 positions, 23 container gantry cranes are used in various berths of HPT. It is the largest container terminal operator in Laem Chabang Port and plans to expand the operational potential of various ports with a target of approximately 6.75 million TEU over the next few years.”
“In this regard, for Thailand Laem Chabang Port It is considered the main port of the country. It is also the main gateway of the country’s imports and exports. In 2020, Laem Chabang Port had 7.6 million TEU of containers through the port of 10.5 million TEU of total container volume of Thailand and is considered the largest port 20th in the world and 4th in Southeast Asia.”
Potential of Laem Chabang Port Compare with different ports in ASEAN countries
In the next issue, Mr. Stephen Ashworth also provided additional updates on the potential of ports in the ASEAN region. The Laem Chabang Port of Thailand is the 4th largest in ASEAN countries.
“The largest port in the region is the Port of Singapore, which many may wonder. Singapore is a small country. Why is it the region’s largest shipping and container port?”
“That’s because the port of Singapore classified in the port type Transshipment container terminal is a port for ships from Europe to the United States to transfer goods to change ships to a third country. which is different from Thailand , It is really the main port for import and export. Because goods and containers are imported from different countries come to Thailand while goods and containers are exported from Thailand to various countries around the world, originating at Laem Chabang Port.”
“In the past, there were more than 500 container ships selected from HPT at Laem Chabang Port. In the first half of 2021, in which It is an Ultra Large Container Vessel with a capacity of more than 12,500 TEU.”
And in the same year, HPT has completed the loading of the Blue Line for the MRT subway project, and unloading the autonomous train for the BTS Golden Line project, as well as supporting the loading and unloading of oil rig construction parts on a special cargo ship.”
Then it’s an important update that compared the potential of Laem Chabang Port with other ports in ASEAN During the period from 2020 to the present, when the economy is affected by the Covid-19 pandemic including the port business as well.
“If you compare Port operations in ASEAN countries, from Laem Chabang Port of Thailand, Port in Yangon, Myanmar, Port in Jakarta, Indonesia, Port in Malaysia and ports in Vietnam in the aforementioned port group Ports in Yangon, Myanmar have seen a markedly negative growth rate since 2020.”
“In 2020, the rate is negative -1.5 percent and in 2021 in the first half has a negative growth rate of -42.5 percent, mainly due to the political crisis in Myanmar.”
“While the proportion of growth Laem Chabang Port Thailand in 2020 dropped -5.5 percent but in 2021 it saw a positive growth of 14.9 percent, a trend similar to that in countries like Indonesia and Malaysia.”
“The reason is because at the beginning of last year’s covid crisis. There are also many ports that are closed for service but by stimulating the economy in various ways of each country resulting in more transportation of goods.”
But the most interesting growth rate in port operations is Vietnam. That can be said that it is the center of production of products in the important industrial sector at a level that is not just ASEAN but at the Asian level that can be compared with China.”
Because Vietnam is home to many well-known brands such as Samsung, Adidas, and factories, although in 2020, when the COVID-19 crisis spread around the world, but in the port in Vietnam still has a growth rate of 17.9 percent and in 2021 there will be a growth rate of 44.4 percent.”
“Later, for Thai export products that are sent around the world both in America and Japan via Laem Chabang Port, In the first half of 2021 there are very favorable numbers. The top 5 products exported were auto parts and spare parts with an export rate of up to 55.46 percent, followed by computer feeders, rubber products, ethylene and propylene polymer products, and chemical products. This promising export figure is a key cog that will spur the growth rate of the Thai economy to gradually increase amid the ongoing coronavirus epidemic.”
“In addition to that, at Hutchison Ports Thailand, there is a distinction that we place an emphasis on in addition to corporate social, environmental, and educational responsibility, namely the issue of diversity and equality of our workforce. More than 15 percent of our employees are female in our organization including as a female truck driver.”
Penetrate the prominence Innovative Wharf and Container Management Hutchisin Ports Thailand
As mentioned in this press release, There has also been an update on the construction of ‘Wharf and Container Terminal D’ of Hutchison Ports Thailand which Mr. Stephen Ashworth has compared to its enormous size that “Equal to Old Trafford Stadium of Man United Football Club, 4 stadiums “, which, in addition to being large, at Terminal D, there are also innovative management services, which Anat Matchima, president of general management, Hutchison Ports (Thailand) Co., Ltd. Update to hear that
“For Terminal D, the first ship to dock in June 2018 is a large ship who came to enable the use of a large crane installed at Terminal D, which is the largest crane in the world until in January 2019, it was the first time that Terminal D was opened.”
“And at Terminal D, this can accommodate a large vessel with a length of 399 meters with a capacity of 14,000 short containers, followed by a 366 meter vessel. The vessels that will enter our Terminal D will is getting bigger and bigger. To provide efficient transportation in terms of Economic of scale, cost-effectiveness and Scope, which is a distinctive feature that meets the needs of shipping customers around the world to use more ports in Thailand.”
“Therefore, we build a large Terminal D berth and has the capability to support large ships in the world. This is the presentation of the innovative cargo terminal. Open the world of terminal and container industry for Thailand, This allows Thailand to be at the forefront of the port business in the region in the near future.”
“Important innovation, the ones we use in Hutchison Ports’ berths are container lifting equipment in the yard and in the quay by using a remote control system from the office building by bringing the fiber optic signal and have backup using Wifi and recently we also have trials using 5G technology in Thailand.”
“Hutchison Ports Thailand has been selected as the Experimental and living center of the Hutchison Ports Group. With this learning and experimentation center, we can see that the technology we are using today can be effective. There are both the subject of remote control equipment and the subject of various technologies as new systems that Thai people themselves have the ability to develop.”
“And one thing to be proud of this, Hutchison Ports Group is also interested in implementing a successful technology model in Thai ports in 52 more ports that Thai people are capable of not losing to any nation.”
“For Terminal D right now, the area in front of the port, we are ready in the area in front of the port to accept ships of 1,700 meters and the container work is under construction. It is expected that in the next 2-3 years, there will be a successful construction of container storage in the back of the port.”
“The mooring area, We prepare the area to be 16 meters deep from the sea level. Total The container capacity in the D1, D2, D3 area reaches 3.5 million TEUs, or 3.5 million containers (20-foot size), and will gradually install the shore crane for 17 cranes and 43 more yard container lifters. ”
“There is also an innovation of unmanned cargo trucks. Which is considered very advanced using Smart AI to control and these cars are also powered by electricity. which is very environmentally friendly and we still have plans for next year. Additional electric vehicles will also be used in our berths.”
“In investment in innovation, The management of the aforementioned. It is an investment worth 20 billion baht that we think is very worthwhile because in addition to answering the needs of the development of the shipping port business. It is also growing one of our business objectives who want a business along with taking care of the environment create sustainability in all sectors as well.”
“However the goal of building a port,We must build for the future. It’s not just built to support the current cargo ships on the market. Because the lifespan of the port is up to 50-100 years, if you look back on the history of building a port in the past as in England, it has up to 100 years, which is the vision of investors. which is truly an investment for the future.”
“In addition, the use of innovation is also to create a safe and convenient working environment for the personnel operating the machines in the container yard. The operator will operate the crane from a monitor with various options. That facilitates employees to work easier. There are more than 20 CC TV cameras around to provide a safe view of work.”
“Right now, more than 50 percent of the port cranes operate with a monitoring system, while the other 50 percent of the work to deliver containers is still dependent on workers. Because the number of cabinets and cabinet types are different. Therefore, it is necessary to use people to monitor and look.”
“At present, Hutchison Ports Terminal D also supports the service of the largest container crane in Thailand, which the company is committed to doing business to become a One of the world’s leading container terminals working with cranes to lift containers in front of the port.”
“And a rubber wheel yard container crane that is remotely operated with state-of-the-art automation technology. By 2022, four more container cranes will be stationed at the terminal. This ensures that HPT will be the operator of a berth capable of handling container vessels larger than ULCV.”
Personnel requirements Management of cargo berths and containers is still ongoing
An interesting final point that Mr. Stephen answered was the need for personnel working in the port business that in the future it is believed that there will be a continuous increase in demand. Therefore, it is necessary to have personnel with competence and skills in this field to support to meet the demand that comes from abroad.
In the training section The company is open ready to accept personnel with basic skills in this field to train by the company. Whether it is a matter of Operation A in the part of the Operator and most importantly, personnel who have knowledge and skills in managing Autonomous and Remote control technology or automation technology that in the future will be used more and more.