Empty containers flock to Việt Nam as storage fees are low

December 02, 2022 - 10:18
Việt Nam was becoming a destination for containers as the housing fees were among the cheapest in the world, with containers even stored for free.
Cát Lái Port. Việt Nam is becoming a destination for containers as the housing fees are among the cheapest in the world. — VNA/VNS Photo Tiến Lực

HÀ NỘI — Container depots in Việt Nam are filling up as empty containers were flocking here for lower storage fees.

Nguyễn Duy Minh, general secretary of Việt Nam Association of Logistics Services Enterprises, said that the global shipping industry was facing a problem which is constrast to the shortage of containers at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic -- housing too many containers.

Notably, Việt Nam was becoming a destination for containers as the housing fees were among the cheapest in the world, with containers even stored for free, Minh said.

Trần Viết Mạnh, deputy director of Nam Đình Vũ Port Joint Stock Company, said consumption demand had slumped in China and Europe. China’s zero-COVID policy was also disrupting the supply chains, which together with the Russia – Ukraine conflict, seriously affected the global market.

Normally the end of the third quarter every year was the time import-export activities were the most robust to serve the increasing consumption demand during the Christmas season for products such as clothing, footwear, and electronic products, Mạnh said.

“This year, the market is almost frozen,” Mạnh said, adding that this led to a decrease in global demand for containers.

A large number of empty containers tended to move to Việt Nam in the long term for its cheap storage fees, Mạnh said, adding that most container depots in the northern and the southern regions were filling up.

However, the container storage fees which depots could collect were very modest, he said. An appropriate increase in container storage fees should be put into consideration to increase revenue for depots while disincentivising containers from staying for too long at depots, he added.

Cáp Trọng Cường, director of VIP Greenport Joint Stock Company, said that container leasing rates also dropped and shipping lines tended to ship containers to Việt Nam for storage.

Online container logistics platform Container xChange pointed out that one of the glaring issues which would impact container repositioning and movement well into the year 2023 was insufficient depot space. — VNS