|Containers in a queue at Cat Lai Port in HCM City. The transport sector is working with port operators to seek solutions for congestion at the port. — VNA/VNS Photo The Anh
HA NOI (VNS) — Transport Minister Dinh La Thang has met Cat Lai Port operators in Ho Chi Minh City to seek solutions to a pile-up of inward and outward container cargo.
Congestion at the port is already said to be hindering export and import business.
At the meeting, it was decided to reduce the long line-up of goods containers by diverting some of the container ships to alternative destinations in the vicinity of Cat Lai.
One operator, Nguyen Ngoc Quynh, deputy general of Sai Gon Premier Container Terminal, said her company could handle an additional of eight or 10 shipping vessels per week.
Deputy general of Sai Gon Port, Vo Hoang Giang, recommended using Cai Mep-Thi Vai International Port in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau.
The port, now running under capacity, has appeared less attractive to shippers since it costs an extra VND2-3 million (up to $US140) to ship a 40ft container through the port.
Sai Gon Newport Corporation, which operates Cat Lai Port, will request shippers to load containers within a certain time.
Inbound traffic using the port for transit will be blocked until any congestion subsides.
The port will stop taking containers from surrounding ports in Ho Chi Minh City and Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province from early this month, but still accept containers from other ports under Sai Gon Newport Corporation's management.
The meeting was told that the delay of goods and extra storage payments at Cat Lai Port had pushed up the price of imports and exports in Ho Chi Minh City.
Cat Lai Port normally handles more than 80 per cent of goods going in and out of Ho Chi Minh City and neighboring provinces.
According to Sai Gon Newport Corporation, the severe congestion at the port was caused by container vessels arriving and leaving later than expected.
Customs authorities have also begun applying new e-customs clearance procedures and the Government has tightened control over the loading of trucks nationwide.
The Ministry of Transport will work with the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Ministry of Finance, and local authorities in southern provinces early this month to ensure congestion is relieved. — VNS