Limitations in management of bulk cargo ships operating coastal transport routes affect maritime safety and transport efficiency. — VNA/VNS Photo Việt Hùng
HÀ NỘI — The transport sector needs to issue separate circulars to manage coastal transport operations for cargo ships, especially bulk cargo ships, a type of ship that runs off the coast and on rivers.
It was proposed by the Việt Nam Maritime Administration and the Việt Nam Inland Waterway Administration during a conference on Thursday to discuss the management of coastal transport routes for bulk vessels.
According to the report by the Việt Nam Inland Water Administration, after five years of opening transport routes for river-sea compatible ships since 2014, there are 839 bulk ships. Of which 305 ships were newly built and the remaining ships were upgraded to bulk carriers from river vessels.
The shipping volume of bulk ships totalled more than 144 million tonnes of cargo a year, increasing by 204 per cent yearly.
The establishment of coastal transport routes has relieved the burden on road transportation.
However, there are still gaps in management as well as limitations that affect maritime safety and transport efficiency, such as the lack of connection between agencies on licensing and monitoring operation of vessels and uniformity of sanctions, officials said.
Vessels lack standard safety equipment and skilled individuals with experience in maritime transport.
It is reported that 39 accidents have occurred in coastal transport route related to bulk vessels over the past five years, sinking 27 ships and leaving three dead.
Agencies' leaders said they would review related issues to propose solutions to better manage bulk cargo ships in accordance with regulations on safety and maritime security.
In 2017, many bulk cargo ships had allegedly transported passengers illegally on the Hà Tiên-Phú Quốc Island route.
As per transport ministry regulations, bulk cargo ships are allowed to carry only goods and not allowed to travel beyond 12 nautical miles from the coast.
However, according to locals and businesses in Kiên Giang Province, several ships are deliberately labelled as sea ferries, which also misleads people and transport passengers. — VNS