Thousands of Trucks Stranded at Border with China as Luang Namtha Suspends Entry

Freight trucks stuck in Luang Namtha cannot enter China.
Freight trucks stuck in Luang Namtha cannot enter China (Photo: KPL)

Luang Namtha Province has temporarily banned freight trucks from entering the province due to a massive backlog of trucks waiting to cross into China.

Thousands of freight trucks from Laos remain stuck in a 20-kilometer traffic jam as they await entry to China.

According to a notice issued on Friday by Head of Luang Namtha Provincial Administration Office, Khamphet Chanthavong, freight transportation has been suspended in order to ease congestion created by trucks unable to cross into China.

Due to the high number of Covid-19 cases reported in Laos, China has implemented tight entry restrictions for individuals and trucks.

A long queue of freight trucks.
A long queue of freight trucks.

Authorities say more than 300 freight trucks travel to the Boten border crossing each day, however, Chinese authorities are allowing only 150 vehicles to cross into China per day, causing massive delays, KPL reports.

Head of Luang Namtha Traffic Police Department, Lieutenant Colonel Ladsavang Pachitham, says thousands of freight vehicles are stranded on the side of the road between Na Toey and the Boten International Customs Gate in a 20-kilometers traffic jam, awaiting access to China.

Freight trucks stuck in Luang Namtha cannot enter China.
A 20-kilometer traffic jam as trucks await entry to China.

“Since 13 December, the number of freight trucks arriving at the border continues to increase. There are now thousands of trucks stranded along the route,” said Lieutenant colonel Ladsavang Pachitham.

“Due to the narrow road as well as construction along the road, the number of vehicles entering China is limited each day, causing traffic congestion for several kilometers,” he added.

All general freight truck shipments in the country have been suspended since Friday, according to authorities. Agricultural freight trucks have been prohibited from operating until 26 December in order to address the backlog.

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