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Thailand has a coastline of 3,148 km1 with over 4,000 km of waterways. Ports include Bangkok, Laem Chabang, Map Ta Phut, Ranong, Phuket, Songkhla, Sattahip, and Si Racha.

Port Authority of Thailand (PAT)

The Port Authority of Thailand (PAT) is a public utility state enterprise under the general supervision of the Ministry of Transport and Communications. It was established by the Port Authority of Thailand Act B.E. 2494 (A.D. 1951) with the objective of conducting business pertaining to the port for the interest of the State and the public.

The main duties of PAT are as follows:

  • providing services and facilities to vessels and cargo.
  • conducting dredging operations and maintenance of the bar channels and basins.
  • supervising stevedoring, handling, moving, storing and delivering of cargo.
  • co-operating and co-coordinating with other government agencies concerned and international ports.
  • developing the organization to cope with economic changes.

Current commercial ports

1. Klong Toey or Bangkok Port can handle approximately 1.5 million TEU/year and the depth of the Chao Phraya River basin is 8.5 meters. Bangkok Port is located on the west side of the Chao Phraya River between km. + 26.5 and km. + 28.5 at the entrance to Prakanong Canal, Klongtoey District, Bangkok.

2. Laem Chabang can handle about 11.1 million TEU/year. Currently, four piers are handled by private companies. Laem Chabang Port is situated at Tungsukhla Sub-District, Sriracha District and Banglamung Sub-District of Chon Buri Province. The port covers an area of around 2,536 acres (6,340 rais).

3. Sriracha Harbour Deep Seaport was the first port in Thailand able to accommodate vessels up to 100,000 dwt. The location of Sriracha Harbour ensures that it is accessible and fully usable for 95% of the year.

Regional ports (River ports)

1. Chiang Saen Port, situated alongside the Mekong River at Chiang Saen District, Chiangrai Province, covers an area of around 3.6 acres (9 rais), facing the Mekong River, opposite the Democratic People’s Republic of Laos and adjacent to highway No. 1290 (Rimkong Road) connecting Chiang Saen and Chiang Khong Districts. The port can handle 120,000 tonnes per year.

2. Chiang Khong Port, situated at Chiang Khong Sub-District, Chiangrai Province. The port aims to upgrade the efficiency of import- export services and promote border trade among People’s Republic of China, Democratic People’s Republic of Laos, the Union of Myanmar and Thailand. The port can handle 15,000 tonnes per year.

3. Ranong Port, situated on the eastern bank of the Kra Buri River, Pak Num Sub-District, Muang District, Ranong Province, covers an area of about 126 acres (315 rais). Container Berth with a 30-meter width and 150-meter length is able to accommodate 1 cargo vessel of 12,000 DWT at a time.

Details about services, costs, facilities and more can be found at

New Deep Seaport : Dawei

Thailand and Myanmar signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to develop the Dawei Special Economic Zone in 2008, followed by another MOU in 2012.

On 30 January 2015, Japan agreed to participate in the project. It was revealed that they will hold equal partnership to Thailand and Burma in the Dawei Special Economic Zone Development Co, and intend to provide technical and financial support for the project.

The Dawei Special Economic Zone Development will include a deep-sea port with a capacity to hold 250 million tons of cargo, surrounded by an economic zone covering some 200 square kilometers. Among the advantages inherent in the development of Dawei Deep Seaport are:

  • Development of an extended base for crude trading and primary operations
  • Increased distribution of exports via the new Western gateway
  • Lowered transport costs due to less dependency on passage through the high-priced Malacca Straits
  • Divergence of labor intensive industry
  • Regional economic expansion – greater demand and a more connected supply-chain
  • Logistic network expansion by synergizing with new trade and transportation routes

Expansion of Ports in Thailand

The Port Authority of Thailand, as the responsible agency, has implemented a port expansion plan by developing the second basin and inviting the private participation on a Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) basis. It is expected that at the completion of the second basin, the capacity of Laem Chabang Port will increase to 3.5 million TEU. Songkhla and Phuket Ports have been developed to serve Southern Thailand.

The PAT, which currently manages five ports in Bangkok and the provinces, signed a contract with consultants for a study on the expansion of the Laem Chabang Port in Chon Buri. The study will seek to make Laem Chabang Port not just an international standard but also an environmentally-friendly port. Via modern technology and the latest innovations, the port should deliver faster services and reduced waiting time for each vessel.

Development of Laem Chabang Port

Structure of Port U-shaped
Size of Port 800-metre width, 4,500-metre length
Depth of Mooring Basin -18 metres at mean sea level
Channel Depth to Terminals -18 metres at mean sea level
Size of Ships Super-Post Panamax (100,000 DWT with capacity to carry more than 10,000 TEUs)
No. of Quays 9
Container Vessel Terminals 7
Containers/General Cargo Terminal 1
Ro/Ro Terminal for Cars 1
Total capacity for cargos 8 million TEUs/Yr (Total 18 million TEUs for 3 phases)
Additional facilities and infrastructure (supplementing what the first phase offered)
The use of clean energy such as electrical energy
Logistical innovations such as automated stacking cranes
Project Status Conducting health and environment impact assessment

Laem Chabang has undergone two phases of development so far and now is on the third phase of construction. The third phase would lift the capacity of the port to a maximum of 18 million TEUs. Currently, the two phases of expansion at Laem Chabang can accommodate up to 11.1 million TEUs. The expansion is aimed at transforming Laem Chabang into the main gateway port of the Greater Mekong Sub Region trade, competing with Singapore.

At present, the port handles 54% of Thailand’s overall exports and imports. The expansion project includes a new wharf of two kilometers in length, 900m wide and 15m deep to serve large vessels directly. There also plans to construct twin railway tracks that will connect the Northeast to the port and the expansion of roads and gates leading to the port to ease traffic. The twin track railway from the Northeast will stretch from Kaeng Khoi district of Saraburi province through Chachoengsao province to Laem Chabang, while four roads to the port will be expanded.

In addition, the expansion plan is part of a group of projects to connect the eastern seaboard of Thailand to the deep-sea port and industrial estate zone planned for Dawei in Myanmar. The Thai government is seeking to reduce logistic costs to 13.2% of GDP from 15.2% so as to increase the country’s regional and global competitiveness.

Inland Waterways

In addition to seaports, Thailand has 4,000 km of inland waterways which contribute greatly to transportation in the country.

The Transport Ministry's Marine Department is planning for better logistics development, of which comprise the construction of a second birth at Chiang Saen and water inland transportation (cargo terminal) in Ayudhaya, both of which were already completed and in commercial operation in 2012. This will help reduce energy costs and enhancei berth capacity.

Services Developments at Commercial Ports in Thailand

Bangkok Port
  • Engaging the private sector to construct 14 rail mounted shore side container cranes; the lifting capacity for each is between 32.5- 40 metric tons.
  • Procurement of 36 yard gantry cranes; the lifting capacity for each is between 30-40 metric tons.
  • Procurement of 33 top loaders; the lifting capacity for each is not less than 40 metric tons and stacking capacity up to 3 meters high.
  • Procurement of 25 empty container reach stackers; the lifting capacity for each is not less than 7.5 metric tons and stacking capacity up to 3 meters high.
  • Procurement of 154 tractors for trailers; the capacity for each is between 30-40 metric tons.
  • Procurement of 151 units of container chassis, the capacity for each is between 30-40 metric tons.
  • Procurement of 7 units of mobile cranes, the capacity for each is not less than 50 metric tons.
  • Procurement of more than 250 forklifts and motor trucks, the capacity varies depending on vehicle size.

The PAT has modernized its ICT system by improving its server system and other related devices for accommodating its Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) as well as installing an e-Gate at Bangkok Port and an e-Toll at Laem Chabang Port.

In addition, the Port Authority of Thailand started using radio frequency identification (RFID) technology in 2011, to provide e-Port services, in order to increase its efficiency and to support logistics service providers. E-Port status would enable easier communication between logistics service providers and the port authority, along with real-time transfers of electronic documents (e-documents) and e-forms between service providers and the authority. This will help to reduce time involved in document processing regarding importing and exporting and better enable the calculation of estimated times of arrival at the port of vehicles belonging to service providers.

Laem Chabang Port
  • Coastal and Multi-Purpose Berth (A0) has been promoted to accommodate cargo transport among domestic piers, coastal berths and southern ports.
  • Passenger Berth C0 has been dedicated as Ro/Ro Berth for accommodating conventional vessels and containerized vessels not exceeding 50 T.E.U.s at a time. The berth has been leased out to Laem Chabang International Terminal Co. Ltd. to invest, manage and operate.
  • The berths have been consecutively developed and their capacities upgraded to accommodate an increase in volume of containers.
  • Infrastructure surrounding the port has been developed.
  • Modern and high-efficient container handling equipment has been provided by the operator of each berth.
  • Management systems have been applied to its operation to meet international standards, i.e. container handling capacity (crane output), rate of berth occupancy, ship’s waiting time, and container tracking system.
PAT’s Green Port Initiatives
A few years ago the PAT implemented a green policy for itself and its partners to follow. It means that the PAT is trying to minimize its impact on the environment. In addition to that, the PAT is working on turning major ports, like Bangkok Port (BKP) and Laem Chabang Port (LCP), into clean ports by using clean energy alternatives, adhering to health and safety standards as well as taking care of the rivers and oceans that the ports depend on. This includes changing the types of vessel fuel used by the PAT at both BKP and LCP. Instead of using traditional fuels that emit large amounts of greenhouse gases and dangerous pollutants, the PAT has turned to cleaner, more cost-effective alternatives. The vehicles that the PAT leases for use in and around the ports run on compressed natural gas (CNG) while using the latest technologies to reduce fuel emissions.

“PAT has received certificates for maintaining strong health standards in all of our ports. This guarantees that we have achieved success in one of the most important aspects of our effort to establish clean ports,”

Lt. JG. Kamolsak Promprayoon, R.T.N.

PAT Deputy Director General (Engineering)

Development of Regional Ports

The Second Port of Chiang Saen District

The new second port of Chiang Saen was completed in 2012. This helps in developing Chiang Rai into a major trade gateway between Thailand and southern China. The gateway will serve as a facilitator to bring about development across northern Thailand on a continual basis. With railway construction to this gateway and port development in the Andaman Sea, Thailand will be able to provide a multimodal transport corridor and open up a new trade lane that links the country with southern China, India, the Middle East, Africa, and Europe. The second port in Chiang Saen is cited as being important for Thailand’s future growth.

  • Providing One Stop Service.
  • Providing one mobile crane; the lifting capacity is 50 tons, to enhance stevedore operations.
  • Providing two forklift trucks; the lifting capacity for each is 5 metric tons and 10 metric tons.
  • Installation of a conveyer belt to enhance convenience and safety of cargo.
Ranong Port
  • Providing One Stop Service.
  • Implementing a computer system for container control and issuing invoices to accommodate container cargo.
  • Arranging public utilities such as electricity, water supply and telecommunications to facilitate port customers.
  • Installing electrical and lighting systems as well as CCTV to enhance safety standards, to ensure the confidence of port customers.
  • Being the main supply base for offshore drilling of the Natural Gas Project in the Gulf of Mataban (Mottama).
International Cooperation

The Port Authority of Thailand (PAT) has continuously cooperated with several international organizations to upgrade its operations and to meet international standards through the exchange of information and training. At present, PAT is a member of the following international organizations: The International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH), The ASEAN Ports Association (APA), The International Association of Lighthouse Authorities (IALA), The International Navigation Association (PIANC), etc.

Source:1Department of Marine and Coastal ResourcesLast updated : February 3, 2021

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