Laem Chabang Port
Since it’s commencement in 1991, Laem Chabang Port (LCB) has been the leading maritime port for Thailand. As the largest port in Thailand, the deep-water LCB facility has flourished in recent years, becoming a beacon for industries and spurring growth throughout the region. Located 130 kilometers south of the capital Bangkok in the coastal province of Chonburi, the Port Authority of Thailand (PAT) has helped to guide and craft strong development for the port and the surrounding area. The PAT has also helped to encourage a spirit of cooperation between both public and private entities by enabling private terminal operators concessions to manage individual terminal operations at Laem Chabang Port.
Laem Chabang Port has so far undergone two phases of development and is currently in the midst of phase 3.
Phase 1: 1987 – 1998
Construction began in 1987 with the development of Basin 1, and in 1991 operations officially commenced at the site of the first two terminals at the port, B1 and B3. Nine additional terminals were constructed throughout the 1990s.
Basin 1 consists of 11 terminals, including seven container terminals (A2, A3, B1-B5), a multipurpose terminal and a coastal terminal (A0), one passenger terminal (A1), one general cargo terminal (A4) and one car terminal (A5). The depth alongside of Basin 1 is 14 metres. This allows for the handling of vessels of up to 6,500 TEUs.
Basin 1 provides a comprehensive range of services, including cargo handling, warehousing and cargo distribution, pilotage, sewage treatment, garbage collection and disposal, ship repair and vessel maintenance by a floating dockyard with a 140,000 DWT capacity.
Thailand’s fast-growing economy during this period bolstered the cargo volume throughput in Laem Chabang Port, which prompted the Port Authority of Thailand to accelerate the construction of Laem Chabang Port Phase 2 Basin 2.
Phase 2: 1998 – 2008
Phase 2 began in 1998 with the development of Basin 2, which was designed to facilitate the country’s growing container traffic. This phase of Laem Chabang Port’s development sought to strengthen their competitive advantage and transitioning towards becoming an international maritime hub.
Basin 2 is comprised of six container terminals (C1–C3 and D1–D3) and 1 general cargo terminal (C0).
Basin 2 looks to provide a full range of auxiliary services, including a Container Freight Station (CFS) and improved highway connections with Thailand’s hinterland. These developments will greatly increase the attractiveness of Laem Chabang Port as a preferred destination port for shipping lines traversing the Asia-North America and Asia-Europe trade lanes. The depth alongside of Basin 2 is 16 metres and its terminals are capable of handling some of the largest vessels currently in operation.
Phase 3: Future Development
The Port Authority of Thailand (PAT) has already commenced with the Phase 3 development of Laem Chabang Port. The goals are to enhance the port’s competitiveness, to reaffirm its position as the gateway port of the sub-region, to cement its place as a hub for trade, and to ultimately boost Thailand’s investment opportunities.
The PAT has recognized the importance the government has placed on its Eastern Economic Corridor scheme and has set forth initiatives to ensure that Phase 3 integrates with their plans. To do this, the PAT plans to implement and design Phase 3 with state-of-the-art, but environmentally friendly equipment and technology, enabling faster services and reduced waiting times for vessels.
The planned features for Phase 3 include a U-shaped structure that is 800 metres wide and 2,000 metres long. The depth alongside is 18 metres, which allows for the handling of Super-Post Panamax vessels with a capacity of more than 10,000 TEUs. The anticipated capacity for cargo is 8 million TEUs.