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Ministry seeks PM’s approval to deal with container backlog at HCM City port

Update: August, 06/2021 - 08:00

 

Containers carrying goods to the Tân Cảng - Cát Lái Port in HCM City. — VNA/VNS Photo Tiến Lực

HCM CITY — The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MIT) is seeking approval from the Prime Minister to deal with the huge container backlog at Tân Cảng - Cát Lái (TCCL) Port in HCM City.

In an urgent document sent on Wednesday (August 4), Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyễn Hồng Diên said the backlog could also occur at other ports like Hải Phòng and Cái Mép, and affect export - import activities of enterprises in the Southern Key Economic Zone.

The Tân Cảng Sài Gòn (Sài Gòn New Port) Corporation announced that the TCCL Port would temporarily stop receiving imports from companies that have suspended production so that it can clear the huge backlog of containers.

The pileup has been caused by businesses reducing or suspending production during the city’s lockdown.

From July 9, the number of trucks coming to the port to pick up cargo has declined sharply, while the number of containers stuck at the port has reached nearly 100 per cent of capacity.

The port is also facing a shortage of employees, with the number halved to 250.

If the number of containers stockpiled reaches the port’s maximum capacity, the port will have to stop receiving cargo.

In addition, many transport companies told MIT that growing congestion around the port has delayed delivery and receipt of goods.

Cargo transportation has seen a decline, with only five to seven containers each day instead of 13-14 containers on normal days.

Vehicles are transporting goods at night only to prevent congestion at the port, which has led to increases in transportation fees.

MIT wants the port to move backlogged import containers of over 90 days to the storage port system of the Sài Gòn New Port Corporation, and then deliver them to customers.

They would deliver goods to Tân Cảng-Hiệp Phước Port, Tân Cảng Long Bình Inland Container Depot (ICD) in the city, as well as Tân Cảng Nhơn Trạch ICD in Đồng Nai Province and Tân Cảng Sóng Thần ICD in Bình Dương Province.

The TCCL port and other port authorities across the country should work with shippers to seek solutions to release goods out of the backlogged port and have a plan to prevent future situations, the ministry said.

The TCCL Port should rearrange space and maximise the capacity for loading and unloading containers and moving empty containers out of the port. 

Companies, on their part, should send their goods through ports near their factories, such as Tân Cảng - Cái Mép International Terminal in Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu Province, Tân Cảng - Hiệp Phước Port in the city’s Nhà Bè District, or other ports in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta region, instead of concentrating on the TCCL Port only.

Customers who have suspended production should reduce or stop importing goods through the port for the time being.

MIT has also asked the people’s committees of HCM City and provinces to prioritise Covid-19 vaccinations for people working at ports, including delivery drivers.

Localities must prepare for Covid-19 cases if they are found at ports, ensuring the dual goals of pandemic containment and economic development.

The Sài Gòn New Port Corporation has also been asked to consider reducing costs for container storage at TCCL Port for companies that have suspended operations due to the pandemic. — VNS