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No easy fix for overloading

Update: October, 25/2014 - 08:38

Dealing with overloaded trucks requires balancing the interests of many, General Secretary of Viet Nam Logistics Business Association Tran Huy Hien told Thoi Bao Kinh Te Viet Nam (Vietnam Economic Times)

There has been rising concern about overloaded vehicles on the roads and their possible impacts, but several people have said that the problem cannot be solved soon. What is your opinion?

I think that the management of overloaded vehicles should be improved soon in order to better maintain traffic infrastructure and make businesses comply with the law.

One of the impacts frequently mentioned is the downgrading of traffic infrastructure by overloaded vehicles. How would you respond to that?

It would not be a fair assessment to hold overloaded vehicles as the only reason or main reason responsible for the downgrading of traffic infrastructure. Road maintenance and construction quality are other factors that have to be considered. Transport companies pay a lot to the traffic maintenance budget, but it is not clear how these funds are used.

What are the solutions that would balance the benefits for all sides involved, including producers, transport companies and port management offices so that the problem of overloading is minimised?

All the stakeholders, particularly producers, have to reject overloading from the transportation contracts that they sign. If they were to refuse overloading, the problem would be solved immediately.

But we have to note that on the one hand, overloading lowers transportation costs, and on the other, port management offices will have to spend more on monitoring and controlling the problem.

What would you suggest if you were a government official?

I think the Government has performed well in dealing with this problem, but these activities are expensive. We have to recognise that transportation companies that do not offer overloading services will find it difficult and complicated to survive in the current market situation.

The Government should impose sanctions on the goods producers and traders because they are the ones who agree to overloaded transportation services in order to reduce costs. However, there are some producers who have forbidden transport companies from overloading their vehicles.

The Transport Ministry has to work on setting more scientific standards and making the issuing of licences to semi-trailers a more transparent process. A large number of transport companies have complained that registration agencies have set the loading capacity of their semi trailers at lower than the designed capacity without due explanations. This has caused a shortage of vehicles, caused goods to get stuck at ports and transport firms to suffer losses.

In addition, while many port management offices have performed well in controlling overloaded vehicles, smaller ones do not do so in order to attract more customers. The Government has to tighten the management of such ports, imposing heavier sanctions for such violations. — VNS

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