|Containers being loaded at Tân Cảng - Cát Lái Port in HCM City. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Vũ|
HCM CITY — Tân Cảng - Cát Lái Port in HCM City’s newly created Thủ Đức city will temporarily stop accepting imports by businesses that have suspended production so that it can clear a huge backlog of containers that have piled up.
In an announcement, the Tân Cảng Sài Gòn (Sài Gòn New Port) Corporation said the pileup has been caused by firms reducing or suspending production since the city’s lockdown began.
In the period, starting July 9, the number of trucks coming to the port to pick up cargo has declined sharply, and the number of containers stuck has climbed to nearly 100 per cent of capacity.
The port is also facing a shortage of employees, with the number halving to 250, exacerbating the pileup.
Nguyễn Phương Nam, the corporation’s deputy general director, said customers who have suspended production should stop importing goods through the port for the time being, though it would still receive them if the goods are already en route.
As for exports, oversized and excessively heavy goods and refrigerated cargo will also not be accepted until at least August 16.
Shipping companies have been told to persuade their customers to change the destination to Tân Cảng - Hiệp Phước Port in the city’s Nhà Bè District or to Tân Cảng - Cái Mép International Terminal or Tân Cảng - Cái Mép Thị Vải Terminal in neighbouring Bà Rịa - Vũng Tàu Province.
The corporation has called on shippers to provide the estimated number of containers with imports and empty brought by vessels docked at its port in the next two weeks so that it can proactively rearrange space.
If the number of containers stockpiled reaches the port’s maximum capacity, the port will have to stop receiving cargo.
The corporation has called on the city Department of Customs to seek the General Department of Việt Nam Customs’ instructions for dealing with the backlog at the port.
Nguyễn Xuân Sang, director general of the Việt Nam Maritime Administration, said his agency has proposed solutions to the Ministry of Transport to resolve the urgent problems at the port.
VMA had opened a hotline at 0903 772 683 to receive calls so that it could support import-export companies and goods owners with loading and unloading of goods at the port.
It has also set up a command centre under the VMA, HCM City branch, to co-ordinate with port operators, shipping operators and other relevant agencies to quickly handle problems and ensure smooth operation of all ports.
It has instructed port authorities across the country to make plans to receive goods to prevent a similar situation.
Ports handle about 40 per cent of the country’s imports and exports. — VNS