Bangkok Port (locally known as Klongtoey Port)

 

Video of Bangkok Port at bottom of this page - larger sized pictures here.

If one day, you want to do something different, we suggest you wander into the Bangkok Port (better known locally as Klongtoey Port).

Bangkok Port (or Klongtoey Port) is located about 27-28 kilometers from the mouth of the Chao Phraya river.

Warehouses along the conventional part of the Bangkok Port.

Warehouses along the conventional part of the Bangkok Port.

 

The Bangkok Port has (we think) two entrances. The entrance to the container port is located about straight south from the Ekamai bus station. Entrance to the conventional port is from Thanon Kasemrat Road, off Rama IV road (close to Queen Sirikit National Convention Center). On the outer perimeter of the port, along a water kanal, is the infamous Klongtoey slum.

Once you are inside the port borders, you are on your own. Actually taxis and private cars are not allowed inside the port perimeters (unless you have some legitimate business there). We walked inside the port, and it is some 4 or 5 kilometers, we reckon, to go from one entrance to the other.

 

Container transport on the Chao Phraya river. Notice the buses on top of the containers.

Container transport on the Chao Phraya river. Notice the buses on top of the containers.

 

While there is obviously work being done, we were surprised to see relatively few people manning the port. A lot of work is apparently automated. The environment, especially in the container section, is rather unappealing, with poor distant visibility and clouds of dust swirling around. We did not see a single farang inside the port, and some areas are signed off as restricted. Nevertheless, we were able to walk freely about the place, without concealing our intention to photograph and video the activities going on. Only once, when we strode inside one of the many warehouses, we were hurried out by an alert guard.

Historical and Economic Background

The Port Authority of Thailand (PAT) is a state corporation of Thailand , responsible for the regulation and governance of the ports of Thailand, primarily the ports of Laem Chabang and Bangkok. Besides in Bangkok and Laem Chabang, it manages the ports of Chieng Saen (Chiang Rai province) , Chiang Kong (Chiang Rai province), and Ranong.

 

Gantry crane and container vessel.

Gantry crane and container vessel.

 

While there has been shipping along the Chao Phraya river for centuries, construction of Bangkok Port was started in 1938, with the purpose of enabling sea-going vessels to transport goods to Bangkok. Construction of Laem Chabang Port on the Eastern Seaboard, now much larger than Bangkok Port, was commenced in 1987.

At present there are 14 gantry cranes in service in the Bangkok Port. However, the government want to limit container transport to 1 million TEU (it is actually above that level), obviously to limit traffic congestion (you can imagine all the container trucks that have to pass through Bangkok).

 

Containers in Bangkok Port. Notice the very dusty environment.

Containers in Bangkok Port. Notice the very dusty environment.

 

According to AAPA (American Association of Port Authorities), in 2013 the Port of Laem Chabang ranked 21th in the world in container traffic with 6,042,476 TEUs (Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units of Containers). This is the same rank as in 2008, with 5,128,000 TEUs at the time. In 2013, the Port of Bangkok ranked 83th with container traffic of 1,511,458 TEUs (compared to a rank of 78 and 1,381,000 TEUs in 2008. {2013 date latest available end 2015}

Regarding total cargo volume, Laem Chabang ranked 59th in 2013 with 67 million metric tons, while the Port of Bangkok does not make the top 100.

When looking at their ranking, both Thai ports seem to be above all container ports.

 

 

See pictures of Bangkok Port