Thursday, May 20, 2010

Thailand Air And Sea Freight Situation Update

No Major Disruption Reported Despite Rioting
Shipping News Feature

THAILAND – During the recent troubles which have been so widely reported in the national press our office in Suphan Buri have kept us apprised of the situation throughout the country. This is not the place to entertain the reasons and origins of the dispute, such matters are better left to those who live and work in Thailand, many of whose blogs provide a better insight into the thoughts and customs of the people. Suffice it to say that prominent figures like red shirt icon, ex premier Thaksin, are hated by many in the deep South as much as they are loved in the northern provinces.

Despite comparatively heavy fighting in the business district of Bangkok it would seem that most Thai’s view this as a localised dispute with freight movements throughout the country generally unaffected. Despite enquiries our staff were unable to find anybody who would admit to being affected by the situation, even air freight shipments to and from the Bangkok airports remain largely normal whilst supply chains seem to operate normally.

Now the bulk of the protestors have dispersed it is to be hoped that stability will be regained in the capital, although the fires in and around the Stock Exchange were expected to cause problems there has been little reaction from the capital markets. Although forecasters are marking down their predictions for Thailand’s trade figures these are, so far, insignificant in the face of what many European countries are facing at this time.

A country which has seen 18 military coups or attempted coups in the past eighty years, with thousands of deaths since 2004 in the Southern Malay Pattani region, where the Muslim population still vie for separation, can hardly be seen as stable, yet the ‘land of smiles’ still manages to largely keep its troubles to itself. It is in the Thai mentality not to upset outsiders and to blithely carry on despite their troubles and, astonishingly, they seem able to continue business as usual despite deep divisions throughout their society.