With a population of 12 million, the metropolitan area of Bangkok is the largest city in Thailand and among the world’s largest agglomerations. It represents an important manufacturing and consumption center. However, Bangkok is located more than 100 km away from its main port facilities of Laem Chabang. By the early 1990s, container traffic was booming, and containers carried to and from the port terminal facilities started to severely impact congestion; Bangkok ranks among the world’s most congested cities.
The development of an inland container depot acting as a satellite terminal to the port of Laem Chabang became an attractive value proposition. In 1993 land was purchased by the State Railway of Thailand, and construction of the facility began at a site about 30 km from downtown Bangkok, including the setting of a col-located rail terminal. The 200 acres Lat Krabang Inland Container Depot (LICD) was completed in 1995 and started its operations in 1996 with a design capacity of 400,000 TEU per year. It also acts as a customs clearance facility as government agencies (customs, inspection, quarantine) are on site.
The publicly owned facility is designed around the concession governance model. Six modules (A to F) are leased over a 10 year period to tenants, mostly maritime shipping companies (Evergreen, Hanjin, NYK are tenants). LICD was a success, and traffic surged from 291,000 TEU in 1997 to 1,669,000 TEU in 2007, well above its design capacity. 75% of the containers arrive at the facility by road and 25% by rail. A logistic zone was built in co-location to perform consolidation and deconsolidation of container loads. Chassis storage facilities are also present in the vicinity. LICD thus represents a fully mature inland terminal facility working close to capacity but having room for expansion.