Cambodia Post has been forced to temporarily cease its international delivery service, citing logistics issues caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The Cambodia Post is state-owned and made the announcement on its Facebook page on April 18th 2020: “Cambodia Post has the honour to inform our dear customers that all consignments are not permitted to be sent or forwarded to any country due to the respiratory disease (COVID-19)” reported the Khmer Times.
The director-general of the postal company, Ork Bora, said it was due to the number of flights cancelled globally. “For the sending out of consignments, we depend on airlines but now those airlines have shut down their air service due to COVID-19. So we have to pause all outgoing consignments.”
It is another blow to many businesses, especially SME’s and online retail stores operating in the Kingdom, compounding the issues caused by COVID-19.
Affected countries include:
- South Korea
- New Zealand
- Several European countries
Cambodia Post said business will return soon, and they will be delivering packages and mail sent from abroad. “We are still operating our consignment service because express companies have their own way to send to Cambodia, so we can operate and distribute those consignments locally as normal,” said Ork.
Cambodia Post earned revenues of $11 million in 2019 (which was a decrease from $13.81 million revenue total in 2018.)
Cambodian Logistics companies
International logistics have been a bane for many international businesses based in Cambodia, citing expensive rates and previously complaining of unreliability issues. Even within Cambodia, the logistics sector has a long way to go to meet international standards but there are efforts in place to rectify these.
In May 2019, the Global Logistics, Cargo & Supply Chain Conference in Phnom Penh looked at the issues with more nearly 100 participants from 13 countries participating.
Sin Chanthy, president of Cambodia Freight Forwarders Association (CAMFFA) said “The logistics sector is very important for Cambodia to bring goods from producers to customers everywhere. The logistics sector also involves other sectors and promotes international trade relations.”
Land, rail and shipping freight in Cambodia
With the expansion of the Cambodian rail network, the ports on the coast – Phnom Penh Autonomous Port (PPAP) and Sihanoukville Autonomous Port (PAS) – which have seen increases in trade and revenue, and more logistics companies entering the local market, the network is improving.
Airfreight in Cambodia
Southeast Asia Airlines was in 2019 planning to operate as a locally-based cargo airline, while Cambodia Airways remains the sole local airline transporting cargo during COVID-19. The Cambodian government was also looking at Sihanoukville being a hub for airfreight.
Private international express delivery companies, such as DHL, who operate their own aircraft, can still make international deliveries from/to Cambodia. However, they have a reputation for being very expensive.
The number of logistics companies specialising in freight between China and Cambodia specifically has also increased over recent years. The trade volume between China and Cambodia increased from $5.16 billion in 2016 to $7.4 billion in 2018.