HÀ NỘI – Freight transport services by rail experienced a slowdown in the first months of this year, according to the Vietnam Railways Corporation (VNR).
Although passenger transport services performed better, it recovered only 80 per cent of the 2019 pre-COVID-19 level, the corporation reported.
VNR leaders explained that difficulties in freight transport were due to the incomplete recovery in railway business and production after the pandemic, plus competition pressure from aviation and road services.
Rail freight transport is expected to face more obstacles as sea freight costs have been reduced to their previous rates after a period of increases.
In the past, the corporation has applied many solutions to restore business and production after the pandemic, such as maximising freight transport service.
VNR General Director Đặng Sỹ Mạnh said the sector brought in more than VNĐ7.7 trillion (US$326.6 million) in 2022, and cut losses by over VNĐ400 billion from the previous year.
It aims to escape losses this year and gain profits in the next two years, he said, adding that to achieve the target, the sector has put forth a range of plans right in the beginning of this year such as improving infrastructure quality and raising the efficiency of passenger and freight transport.
VNR has proposed the Ministry of Transport upgrade eight railway stations to international ones in order to enhance the freight transport capacity, Mạnh said, taking the example of Kép station in the northern province of Bắc Giang, which has offered international services since February 18.
Freight transport services are projected to become a spearhead accounting for up to 70 per cent of the railway sector’s revenue.
The ministry has included the upgrade of the railway stations into the 2021-25 mid-term investment plan.
Besides, the model of railway in combination with tourism attracted more than 4.5 million passengers in 2022, tripling that in the previous year, which will be stepped up this year. – VNS