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Myanmar Waterways Assessment

Myanmar Waterways

Overview

The main ports of Myanmar can be found in 9 cities: Sittwe, Thandwe, Kyauk Phyu, Pathein, Yangon and Mawlamyine. (See link: 2.1 Myanmar Port Assessment) All river ports, except Yangon, are undeveloped and lack berths, jetties and significant handling equipment. Since 2012, when permissions on car imports were streamlined and the number of trucks has been increasing, the volume of transport by river has been going down. Although it is much slower as transport by road, it remains one of the cheapest transport options in country.

The Ayeyarwaddy river is the most important commercial waterway in Myanmar, running through the centre of the country. It is about 1,350 miles (2,170 km) long, it starts in Kachin State and runs to Yangon and the Delta in Ayeyarwaddy Region. It is navigable along most of its length and all seasons. However in dry season cargo boats need to reduce their cargo by 50% due to the shallow water depth. The lower part of the river, from Mandalay to Yangon is accessible for vessels up to 1000 GRT. The upper part, from Bhamaw in Kachin State to Mandalay is accessible only for vessels up to 300 GRT.

In Sagain Region, the Chindwin River is navigable up to Homalin in year round. Depending on the water shallow, draft and weight of vessel, it is navigable up to the Tanai (Kachin State).

In Rakkhine state, around Sittwe, the rivers to Buthidaung (MayYu River) and Kyauktaw (Kaladan River) are navigable. Several towns in Rakhine can be accessed by both road and river but for most towns, by road would be quickest. Myaebon town can only be accessed by waterway. Most common transport on these waterways is by local wooden hull vessels of up to 100MT cargo capacity. Larger, shallow draft barges or landing vessels can be used, but are not common in the area.

In Mon state and Tanintharyi Region Inland Water Transport is not active. In Mawlamyine (Mon State) the Thanlyin River and Gyaing River are navigable but the river is mainly used for passenger transport and some local transport by wooden hull vessels up to 100MT.

In Tanintharyi at Dawei, the Dawei River is only navigable for a couple more miles North, after Dawei. Therefore it’s mostly used for local passenger transport. In Myeik, the Kyaukphyar River (North) and Tanintharyi River (S-East) are navigable and mainly used for passenger transport and local transport by wooden hull vessels up to 100MT. The coastal area around Myeik is interlaced with tributaries and for many small coastal towns transport by water is their primary, sometimes sole, connection to Myeik.
In Kawthaung the Kra Buri bay and river acts as the border between Myanmar and Thailand and can be used by large vessels up to 2000 GRT around Kawthaung. It is navigable upstream for about 50km but there are no significant settlements that way.

Company Information

Inland Water Transport (IWT), established in 1865, under the Ministry of Transport is a state owned enterprise responsible for water transport of passengers and cargo. With 11.239 million passengers and 1.375 million tons of cargo transported (April 2015 to March 2016) it is the largest transport company active on the waterways. Transport by river is one of the cheapest means of transport in Myanmar. IWT has six divisions: Delta Division, Ayeyarwaddy Division, Chindwin Division, Thanlwin Division, Yakkhine Division and Cargo Division. It has a fleet of 292 vessels: Passenger, cargo vessels, powered barges and tugs. 30% of their fleet is older as 61 years, 26% between 40-60 years old, 35% between 20-40 years old, 4% between 10-20 years old and 5% under 10 years old(15 June 2016). Their cargo vessels are leased out to private contractors on annual basis, while the passenger vessels are still operated by IWT. Since 2014, their fleet was reduced by 30% and the volume of cargo transported shrank by 34%.

Shwe Pyi Tan Co. Ltd. and Pathein Thu Co. Ltd. are the largest private transportation companies for inland water transport, active in Ayeyarwaddy Region. However, most people and businesses in Ayeyarwaddy Region (in the towns of Bogale, Mawkyun, Laputta, Pathein) rely on IWT for transport of passengers and cargo to Yangon Region. There is limited competition because IWT has monopolised this sector in Ayeyarwaddy.

Ships are charged a standard fee for use of the waterway by the Directorate of Water Resources and Improvement of River System (DWRIRS), under the Ministry of Transport & Communications. DWRIRS charges 0.20 Kyat/MT capacity/mile, per trip (rate as of Jun 2016). This is charged at the river stations Twantay, Nyaungdong, Pyay, Magway, Mandalay and Kathar and for the Chindwin River at Monywa and Kalewa.

Inland Water Transport (IWT) Fleet Composition (15/June/2016)

(a)

Powered Vessels

142

 

(1) Passenger cum cargo

84

 

(2) Cargo

21

 

(3) Powered Barge

13

 

(4) Water Tender

1

 

(5) Tug

17

 

(6) Oil Tanker

1

 

(7) Miscellaneous

5

(b)

Non-Powered Vessels

121

 

(1) Cargo Barge

115

 

(2) Oil Barge

 6

(c)

Station Pontoons

29

 

Total

292

 

IWT Services Routes in Myanmar, countrywide.

Sr.No.

Division/Route

Schedule

1.

Delta Division

Sailing Frequency

 

1.

Yangon - Dala

Daily (46) trips

 

2

Wadan - Dala

Daily (19) trips &  9 trips in Sunday

 

3

Yangon - Kanaungto

Daily (8) trips & 6 trip in Sunday

 

4

Sintohtan - Sarparchaung

Suspended

 

5

Wadan - Satekyi

Suspended

 

6

Hinthada - Pyapon

Suspended

 

7

Yangon - Bogale

Suspended

 

8

Yangon - Mawkyun (Night)

(3) trips a week

 

9

Yangon - Kyonemange

(2) trips a week

 

10

Yangon - Lattputa (In)

(1) trip a week

 

11

Yangon - Lattputa (Out)

(2) trips a week

 

12

Yangon - Myaungmya

Suspended

 

13

Yangon - Pathein (Night)

Suspended

 

14

Yangon - Pyay

Suspended

 

15

Yangon - Kyaunkone

Suspended

 

16

Yangon - Pyapon

(3) trip a week

 

17

HlaingTharYar - Sintohtan

Suspended

2.

Ayeyarwaddy Division

Sailing Frequency

 

1.

Mandalay - Bamaw (Express)

Suspended

 

2.

Mandalay - Bamaw (Special Express)

(3) trips a week

 

3.

Mandalay - Nyaung Oo (Express)

Suspended

 

4.

Mandalay - Kathar ( Special Express)

Suspended

 

5.

Mandalay - Pyay

Suspended

 

6.

Mandalay – Bamaw(normal class)

Suspended

3.

Chindwin Division

Sailing Frequency

 

1.

Monywa - Homalin

Suspended

 

2.

Monywa - Kalaywa

Once a week

 

3.

Monywa - Khamti

Suspended

4.

Thanlwin Division

Sailing Frequency

 

1.

Chaungnakwa

Suspended

 

2.

Mawlamyaing - Kalwi

Daily(2)trips

 

3.

Mawlamyaing - Nathmaw

Daily(2)trips

 

4.

Mawlamyaing - Nathmaw (Special)

Suspended

5.

Yakhine Division

Sailing Frequency

 

1.

Sittway - Myauk Oo

Twice a week

 

2.

Sittway - Buthetaung

Twice a week

 

3.

Taunggote - Manaung

Suspended

 

4.

Sittway - Taunggote (Special Express)

Suspended

6.

Cargo Division

Sailing Frequency

 

1.

Yangon-Mandalay

Suspended

Suspended: Lines stopped since 2014 that were uneconomical.

For information about IWT and government contacts see link:

4.1 Myanmar Government Contact List

For information about port and waterways companies contacts see link:

 

4.4 Myanmar Port and Waterways Company Contact List

Ayeyarwaddy River

IWT still operates 14 passenger ships along the Ayeryawaddy River, while 10 of their cargo vessels and 30 passenger/cargo vessels have been privatized since 2013.  There are private passenger vessel companies that operate for tourism from Yangon to Pyay (Prome), Nyaung-U (Bagan), Mandalay and Kathar along Ayeyarwady River and mostly individually owned vessels, barges and small ferries run along Chindwin River between Pakokku, Monywa, Kalewa, Homlin and Khanti.

World Bank started in 2016 a dredging project that will run until 2021 to increase the depth of the Ayeyarwaddy River from Nyaung-U to Mandalay (191 km) to at least 2 metre. In dry season (Nov-April), the minimum depth currently ranges from 1-1.5m (5-7 ft).

 

Passenger Carrying Capacity

Number of Passenger Vessels

Dept. IWT

U Min Kyawt ( Manager of Transport( Dept. IWT), Ayeyarwaddy Region, Yangon

Ph#+95-9-5322324

mknna99@gmail.com

MGRG Express

No.38, 38th St, Bet 79thx80th, Maha Aung Myay Tsp, Mandalay

+95-9-910 06098

http://www.mgrgexpress.com/

Myanmar Holidays Co., Ltd/ Interconnection/ Shwe Keinnery Vessel

 24 – 26, 38th Street, Kyauktada Township,
Yangon 11182, Myanmar.
Tel/ Fax: +(95-1) 371 691, 371 692  E-mail: info@myanmarholiday.com

< 20 pax

   

< 50 pax

   

< 100 pax

 

3 (74 Pax) 

3 (56, 60 & 70 pax) 

> 100 pax

14 boat (294-374 pax)

1 (220 Pax) only operate from Sep to March

 

Cargo Carrying Capacity

 

Dept. IWT

U Min Kyawt (Manager of Transport( Dept. IWT)

Ph#+95-9-5322324

mknna99@gmail.com

Number of Boats

14 (operating with cargo+ pax)

Tonnage / Volume Capacity

20-50 Tonnage

Number of Barges

10

Tonnage / Volume Capacity

1,920 Mt/  50,000 M3

Number of Tugs

No information

Tonnage / Volume Capacity

 

Other (specify)

About 30 ferries with the capacity of 100-300 pax+ 20-50 Mt each, were tendered each year.

Travel Time Matrix

Average speed on the Ayeyarwaddy River for regular 20-60 MT cargo boats is 16 km/hr following the current (downstream), 9.6 km/hr against the current (upstream).

Security: Some robbery incidences have occurred with cargo shipments between Pakokku and Mandalay along the Ayeyarwaddy River.  Passenger and tourist vessels however were not targeted. Travel times between key ports.

Corridor: Ayeyarwaddy River (from Yangon to Mandalay)

Travel Time from Main port to other major Ports  (hours / days) for standard barge 20-60 mt capacity

 

Yangon

Pyay

Magway

Nyaung-U 

Pakokku

Mandalay

 

Monywa

Kalewa

Yangon

 

378Km /39 hr(up), 24hr(down)

543Km/56 hr(up), 34 down

754Km/ 78.5 hr(up)

47hr(down)

779Km/82hr(up)

49hr(down

944Km/  /98hr(up)

59hr(down)

918 Km/ 97hr(up)/ 55hr(down)

1153 Km/ 125hr(up)/ 70hr(down)

Pyay

378Km /39 hr(up), 24hr(down)

 

165Km/17hr(up), 10hr(d)

376Km/ 39 hr(up)/ 23.5hr(down)

401Km/ 42hr(up)/

25hr(down)

534Km/  /56hr(up)

33hr(down)

540km/ 57hr(up)/

32hr(down)

775km/ 85hr(up)/

46hr(down)

Magway

543Km/56 hr(up), 34 hr (down)

165Km/17hr(up), 10hr (down)

 

211 km/ 22hr(up)/ 13hr (down)

236km/ 25hr(up)

15hr(down)

451Km/ 47hr(up)/ 28hr(down)

375 km/ 39  hr(up)/ 73 hr(down)

610Km/ 64 hr(up)/ 38 hr(down)

Nyaung-U

754Km/ 78.5 hr(up)

47hr (down)

376Km/ 39 hr(up)/ 23.5hr (down)

211 km/ 22hr(up)/ 13(down)

 

25Km/ 2.5hr(up), 1.6hr(down)

190Km/20 hr(up)

12hr(down

125Km/ 13hr(up)

8 hr(down)

777 Km/ 81hr/(up)

 

50hr(down)

Pakokku

779Km/82hr(up)

49hr(down

401Km/ 42hr(up)/

25hr(down)

236km/ 25hr(up)

15hr(down)

25Km/ 2.5hr(up), 1.6hr(down)

 

165Km/17 hr(up)

10hr(down

100 Km/  10.4 hr (up)/ 6.3hr(down)

374km/ 40 hr(up)/ 20 hrs(down)

Mandalay

944Km/  /98hr(up)

59hr(down)

534Km/  /56hr(up)

33hr(down)

451Km/ 47hr(up)/ 28hr(down)

190Km/20 hr(up)

12hr(down

165Km/17 hr(up)

10hr(down

 

277 Km/ 29 hr(up)/ 17(down

483 Km/ 50(up)/

30(down)

Monywa

918 Km/ 97hr(up)/ 55hr(down)

540km/ 57hr(up)/

32hr(down)

375 km/ 39  hr(up)/ 73(down)

125Km/ 13hr(up)

8 hr(down)

 100 Km/  10.4 hr (up)/ 6.3hr(down)

277 Km/ 29 hr(up)/ 17(down)

 

235 Km/ 28hr(up)/ 13hr(down)

Kalewa

1153 Km/ 125hr(up)/ 70hr(down)

775km/ 85hr(up)/

46hr(down)

610Km/ 64 hr(up)/ 38 hr(down)

777 Km/ 81hr/(up)

 

50hr(down)

374km/ 40 hr(up)/ 20 hrs(down)

483 Km/ 50 hr (up)/

30hr(down)

235 Km/ 28hr(up)/ 13hr(down)

 


Corridor: Ayeyarwaddy river (from Mandalay to Banmaw)

Travel Time from Main port to other major Ports  (hours / days) for standard barge 20-60 mt capacity

 

Mandalay

Katha

Banmaw

Mandalay

 

378Km /39 hr(up), 24hr(down)

440Km/ 56 hr(up), 34 (down)

Katha

317Km /31.7hr(up), 20hr(down)

 

123Km/ 17hr(up), 10hr(d)

Banmaw

440Km/44 hr(up), 27.5 hr (down)

123Km/ 12.3hr(up), 7.7hr (down)

 

Key routes

 

Key Route Information

Domestic / International

 

Yangon-Pyay-Pakokku- Mandalay

Pakokku-Monywa-Kalewa

Pakokku to
Mandalay

Mandalay to Banmaw

Total Distance (km)

944 Km

 

374 Km

165 Km

 

440 Km

Width (m):

Broadest

Narrowest

In flood season 1,600m, min. 227m in dry season

In flood season 620 m, min.200 m in dry season

In flood season 1524m, min. 9147m in dry season

395m-1210m

Min. 76m (most parts are narrow)

River Flow

(m³ / second)

unknown

12-16 km/hr wet season
3-5 km/hr in dry season

unknown

unknown

Seasonal Affects

Dry season cargo load is reduced by 50%

Dry season 0.8m draft

Dry season cargo load is reduced by 50%

Dry season 1m draft.

Maximum Weight and

Size of Vessels

The regular vessel with 2000 GRT Mt, 2 meter draft, 24m Width x 91.5m Length

128 GRT
30.3m length, 1.2m draft

 

 

Regular Traffic

Passenger / Cargo

No traffic

Yes, passengers, timber

Most traffic is tourism, passenger

Yes. Mostly fuel & construction materials

Companies Operating

Along the Route

1. Apache cement Co.

2. Famous OK

3. Denko Trading Co.Ltd.

4. Semeikhon port committee

1. Aung Mya Than co. at timber port

2. Apache cement Co.

3. Famous OK

1. Apache cement Co.

2. Famous OK

3. Denko Trading Co.Ltd.

4. Semeikhon port committee

IWT and private co’s

Security Concerns

(Yes / No)

Yes, robbery of cargo at night. Not targeting tourists between PKK-MDY

No report

Yes, robbery of cargo at night. Not targeting tourists.

No

Main Ports

Yangon & Mandalay

Pokokku, Monywa & Kalewa

Pakokku, Simee Khon, Mandalay

Mandalay, Katha & Bamaw

 

To go from Yangon to Pyay there are two options. Option 1 is via Twantay canal (124 km length) at Twantay city. Twantay canal is preferred by Inland Water Transport. Option 2 via the Hlaing River (98km length) at Nyaungdon city is 26km (1.5 hr/3 hrs) shorter. The Hlaing River is preferred by the private sector, but is more difficult to navigate due to narrow sections with many bends.

Corridor: Chindwin River (from Pakokku to Kalewa)

Travel Time from Main port to other major Ports  (hours / days) Barge

 

Pakokku

Monywa

Kalewa

Homalin

Hamanthi

Hkamti

Pakokku

 

100 Km/  10.4 hr (up)/ 6.3hr(down)

374km/ 40 hrs/ 20 hrs

646 Km/ 61hr(up) 43hr(down)

731Km/ 66.5hr(up)/ 51.5hr(down)

838Km/ 67.2hr(up)/ 58.5hr(down)

Monywa

100 Km/  10.4 hr (up)/ 6.3hr(down)

 

235 Km/ 28hr(up)/ 13hr(down)

507 Km/ 48hr(up)/ 34hr(down)

631Km/ 63.5hr(up)/ 42.2hr(down)

731Km/ 73.1hr(up)/ 49hr(down)

Kalewa

374km/ 40 hrs/ 20 hrs

235 Km/ 28hr(up)/ 13hr(down)

 

272km/ 26hr(up)/  18hr(down)

357km/ 35.7(up)/24hr (down)

464Km/ 46.4hr(up)/ 31hr (down)

Homalin

646 Km/ 61hr(up) 43hr(down)

507 Km/ 48hr(up)/ 34hr(down)

272km/ 26hr(up)/  18hr(down)

 

85Km/ 5.5hr (up)/8.5hr (down)

203Km/ 20.3hr(up) 15hr(down)

Htamanthi

731Km/ 66.5hr(up)/ 51.5hr(down)

631Km/ 63.5hr(up)/ 42.2hr(down)

357km/ 35.7(up)/24hr (down)

85Km/ 5.5hr (up)/8.5hr (down)

 

107 Km/ 10.7hr(up)/ 7hr(down)

Hkamti

838Km/ 67.2hr(up)/ 58.5hr(down)

731Km/ 73.1hr(up)/ 49hr(down)

464Km/ 46.4hr(up)/ 31hr (down)

203Km/ 20.3hr(up) 15hr(down)

107 Km/ 10.7hr(up)/ 7hr(down)

 

 

Port Information

Key Port Information

 

Pakokku

Monywa

Kalewa

Location

21°18'50.76"N

95° 3'22.53"E

22° 07' 20.7" N
95° 07' 06.8" E

23°11'39.11"N
94°18'33.99"E

Contact Information

Mr. U Aung Cho Myint (Manager- Inland Waterway Department, Pakokku-Nyaung-U), Nyaung U Office Ph#-95-9-43008220

Mr. U Tin Tun Aung

Manager of
Chindwin division:

Directorate of Water Resources and Improvement of River System (DWRIRS),
Phone: +95-9-6451984

Mr. U Moe Zaw

Port Manager

Directorate of Water Resources and Improvement of River System (DWRIRS), (Ph+95-9-400545544)

Connections with other

transport means

(road/waterways/air)

Road

Road

Road

Storage Capacity

(square meters and cubic meters)

None

None

None

Handling Equipment

No, but can arrange 3-5 MT mobile crane

Mobile Cranes: 25, 35MT

None

Customs Clearance Available (Yes / No)

No

No

No

Other Comments

 

Chindwin river, 2.5ft draft
during dry season

Chindwin river, 2.5ft draft during dry season

Key Port Information

 

Sagaing

Mandalay

Semeikhon

Location

21°52'59.09"N
95°59'41.44"E

21°58'16.04"N
96° 3'22.08"E

21° 44' 53.8"N
95° 25' 23.4"E

Contact Information

IWT, Mr. U Khin Maung Aye, Mandalay Division, Dept. IWT
Phone: +95-2-36035

IWT, Mr. U Khin Maung Aye, Mandalay Division, Dept. IWT
Phone:+95-2-36035

U Thein Soe Win (Port Manager)

Ph:+95-9-796512259

Connections with other

transport means

(road/waterways/air)

Road

Road

Road(limited) for truck capacity( 6 wheeler in dry season)

Storage Capacity

(square meters and cubic meters)

None

None

None, but container yard is available

Handling Equipment

None

Mobile Cranes: 25, 35, 17MT

50m concrete boat ramp and a 50MT crane on a barge

Customs Clearance Available

(Yes / No)

No

No

No

Other Comments

Timber port, across from Mandalay port

Private co. handles general cargo

 

 

 

Key Port Information

 

Homalin

HtaManThi

Hkamti

Location

24°51'47.32"N 94°54'31.92"E

25°19'55.39"N

95°17'28.28"E

26° 0'2.73"N

95°41'44.88"E

Contact Information

 

 

U Ba La (Chief)

Ferry Between: Hkamti and Sinte

Connections with other

transport means

(road/waterways/air)

Road(limited) for truck capacity( 6 wheeler in dry season)

Only Waterway is accessible on the other side of the bank, there is a ferry to connect road of Homalin-Hkamti

Road(limited) for truck capacity( 6 wheeler in dry season)

Storage Capacity

(square meters and cubic meters)

N/A

N/A

N//A

Handling Equipment

Only manual

Only Manual

Only Manual

Customs Clearance Available

(Yes / No)

No

No

No

Other Comments

Timber to Mandalay, Fuel Supply to Resource Extraction Project in Sagaing

Private co. handles general commodities to move to Layshi of Naga Administration Zone.

Timber to Mandalay, Fuel and general cargo to Resource Extraction Project in the area and the Naga Administration Zone

 

 

Key Port Information

 

Katha

Location

24° 9'55.29"N

96°20'32.35"E

Contact Information

U Gyi Myint (Chairman)

Waterway Traffic Control Office

Connections with other

transport means

(road/waterways/air)

Road

Storage Capacity

(square meters and cubic meters)

None

Handling Equipment

Not for handling purpose, but can hire in case of emergency from DWRIRS based in Mandalay

Customs Clearance Available

(Yes / No)

No

Other Comments

Diesel fuel drum are trucking to northern part of the city.