|Passengers board a train in Hà Nội Station. — VNA/VNS Photo Thành Đạt|
HÀ NỘI — Vietnam Railways Corporation (VNR) reported its revenue fell to an all-time low in August as the COVID-19 social distancing measures dragged on its passenger transport.
Revenue of the state-owned railway operator was just VNĐ114.7 billion (US$5 million) in August.
The number of passengers boarding trains reached more than 8,600 in August, equalling just 6.5 per cent of the same period last year. The situation worsened when the company was forced to stop the daily trains on the North-South route since end-August due to complicated disease developments, the company reported.
Freight transport slightly improved, reaching nearly 414,000 tonnes, up 5.4 per cent year-on-year. However, this segment also showed signs of a slowdown due to the shortage of goods and more complex transportation.
VNR’s General Director Đặng Sỹ Mạnh said the company had proposed to the Ministry of Transport to work with localities to facilitate the rail freight transport to avoid supply chain disruption.
The corporation also sent dispatches to provinces and cities, stating advantages of rail freight transport amid the pandemic and suggested localities switch to train transportation when in need.
However, due to the lack of input materials and consumption decline, Mạnh said rail freight was still facing risk of a serious decline until the end of the year.
The company is also proposing to borrow VNĐ800 billion ($35 million) to ensure liquidity. Currently, due to financial difficulties, it is unable to keep all its employees on the payroll. — VNS