Reducing logistic cost and eliminating corruption always impact positively to Cambodia’s economy- Mr. Tung (Tom) Pham

Maersk Line is one of the largest container ship companies in the world. Established Cambodian corporation in 1992 and run the top still. It also continue to contribute to the logistics industry in Cambodia. I talked to Mr. Tung (Tom) Pham, Country Manager of Maersk. (Interviewed at: April, 2018)

Interviewee Profile

Mr. Tung (Tom) Pham: Counyry Manager of Maersk LINE.

Maersk Line is focused on organic and inorganic growth

――Please tell your company’s strength points

 Maersk Line as a leading carrier in global shipping industry as well as in Cambodia, we offer the following strengths and benefits to our customers

 -Strong financial background global company with long history

 -Long-term commitment to Cambodia export and import industry as being one of the first with owned company set-up in Cambodia

 -Strong products and service set-up providing our customers with good access from/to Cambodia market to the world through

 -Weekly services connecting Sihanoukville and Pnom Penh to Maersk Line global network. From Sihanouville, the connections are made by owned feeder service via Singapore and Malaysia hub-ports

 -Largest pool of equipment in all sizes and types in the country to accommodate the needs of our customers across all cargo seasonality

 -Professional and Well-trained colleagues in serving the customers as per our global standard.

――——Please tell the current situation in this industry (any problems, changes, topics to be paid attention, etc…)

 2016 was a decisive year for the shipping industry, characterized by record low freight rates and the infamous bankruptcy of HanjinShipping, at the time the world’s 7th largest shipping company. Since then we have seen significant consolidation in the industry and customer seeking the stability of Maersk Line, as the world’s largest carrier. In fact, we have seen more consolidation over the last two years than the lasts twenty years. Maersk Line, with our strong financial performance and market leading products and services, is robust enough to weather any storm and continue to serve our customers. Maersk Line is focused on organic and inorganic growth. Maersk Line is in the process of acquiring Hamburg Sud which will give our customers even greater options on North-South trades

 Besides, the advancement of technology has helped to trend the industry toward digitalization which is a very positive thing, as it is not only expected to bring efficiency but improve transparency and reduce wastes in shipping processes as well.

 We are investing in innovative projects to improve our customer’s experience and therefore grow our top-line. One example of this is Remote Container Management which will give our customers shipping perishable commodities even greater visibility over their supply chain and peace of mind.

We appreciate the great efforts from the Government to drive these towards the right direction

――Mr Sun Chanthol, Minister of Public Works and Transport requested related ministries and government agency to reduce the logistic cost and eliminate corruption. Is it implemented? Please tell the current situation in detail

 Reducing logistic cost and eliminating corruption always impact positively to Cambodia’s economy. It makes Cambodia more attractive to the investors and Cambodia’s export products more competitive. It is grateful to have H.E. Sun Chanthol setting that direction for future development of Cambodia’s Transport and Logistic and Maersk Line is in full support.

 In the past year, through the support and commitment of Cambodian Government, there have been a lot of progress on making improvement to infrastructure condition, eliminating unofficial fee, adjusting some logistic fees. We appreciate the great efforts from the Government to drive these towards the right direction. However, in comparison to other countries in the region, Cambodia is still a lot less competitive thus we appreciate the Government continue putting efforts to make further improvements in port productivity, inland infrastructure, reducing complexity in agency systems, and making further adjustment logistics fees to be more competitive.

——How will it be in the future do you think? (Your prospect for the industry)

 Maersk is very optimistic about the market in Cambodia. We believe Cambodia is a high growth market with good potential for the transport and logistics industry to grow. Cambodia stands to benefit anytime there are Free Trade Agreements, whether they be bilateral or multilateral. As the world’s largest shipping company, Maersk Line firmly believes that when our customers are successful, we are successful. More than just moving ships from one place to another, Maersk Line connects consumers to goods, companies to markets enabling global trade and helping economies to grow. We look forward to a long and strong partnership with Cambodian authorities, partners and customers in the years to come.

——What is most needed for development this country?

 As Cambodia is competing for foreign investment with other countries in the region, it is important to continue enhancing its existing advantages on competitive labor cost and investment cost while working on improving productivity, enhancing port and inland infrastructure and efficiency customs declaration system.

 Our magazine is the information for foreign businessmen who are considering to entering into Cambodia. Please tell any points that they have to keep in mind to come and start business in Cambodian, especially in this industry.

 As an emerging economy Cambodia represents a significant opportunity. As with all opportunities there are challenges as well. Therefore, for thosewho are thinking about entereing into Cambodia for business investment, keep an open-mind, eagerness and a flexible attitude. But most importantly you will need a high level of energy, Cambodia is an exciting market.

——Please tell your business development in the future

 Maersk Line has a long and strong history in Cambodia and as such we are committed to the market. We will continue to invest in our products and services to help our Cambodian customers grow and reach global markets. We are also working closely with the Government and other big investors in Cambodia to address the issues on productivity, infrastructure development and reducing complexity using our experience in other countries globally.

 In addition to this, we are focusing on developing our local Cambodian talents and preparing them for even more challenges and leadership positions.