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Myanmar truckers forced to halt operations due to a rise in fuel prices

IMPHAL: Rising fuel prices and other expenditures in Myanmar are driving freight companies to halt operations, according to reports.

Half of Myanmar’s freight carriers have already shut down operations due to a drop in commerce after China closed its border gates due to the coronavirus, rising prices for fuel and spare parts as the kyat depreciates, and military checkpoints demanding bribes.

According to freight providers, those who are still running will close down, for the most part, this month.

Fuel costs were as low as 655 kyats (33 cents) a liter before the February 1 revolution, but they have now risen to 1,900 kyats at some filling stations.

U Kyin Thein, chairman of the Myanmar Highway Freight Transportation Service Association, told media, “Fuel prices have risen, and traffic inspections have become more stringent, requiring us to pay bribes,” reported The Irrawaddy.

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He further said, “At filling stations, there are huge queues. Only 20 gallons are available. That is insufficient. In addition, there are fewer filling stations. We’re having trouble, and if we lose, we’ll have to reconsider.”

Meanwhile, the weakening kyat has increased the cost of engine oil, tyres, and other parts. 
For 1,300-kilometer route, truck owners generate profit of roughly 100,000 kyats if there are no breakdown fees.

 

According to the military regime, fuel is rationed at 94 filling stations in Yangon, but the bulk of trucks use only a few stations along the Yangon-Mandalay road.

At the moment, freight companies only transport basic food and consumer products.

“Fuel costs have increased, but we haven’t increased freight charges,” a freight supplier between Yangon and Myawaddy stated. However, if fuel prices continue to rise, we will be compelled to raise fees,” he added.

 

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