Saturday, January 29, 2011

PM Attacks Freight Haulage Company For Ageing Fleet

Group Must Improve or Face the Consequences
Shipping News Feature

CAMBODIA – According to reports the largest haulier in the Kingdom has received severe criticism from the Country’s Prime Minister, Hun Sen, who has gone so far as to threaten to company with closure. The So Nguon group runs about 200 freight trucks, principally distributing cargo to and from the capital Phnom Penh around the country and into Vietnam.

Mr Hun Sen says he has warned the company before that they are responsible for too many accidents, principally due to poor maintenance, including the frequent use of bald tyres, an ageing fleet and bad quality, poorly trained drivers. An incident of a vehicle breaking down whilst crossing the Monivong Bridg, paralysing Phnom Penh traffic instigated the attack.

Group Chairman So Nguon emphatically denied the charges and insisted the company had invested heavily in recent months having purchased sixty new vehicles lately whilst selling off many older commercial vehicles. He also stated that the company was in the process of retiring many older trucks to reduce the overall fleet by about 30%.

This last statement is a little surprising as, mainly due to a thriving textile trade, up over a quarter in 2010 against 2009, the So Nguon groups revenues in the first eight months of last year apparently exceeded the previous years total and the had predicted turnover to rise this year to $11 million against less than $8 million in 2009.