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Overloading regulations get blame for slow flow of goods

Update: June, 09/2014 - 08:09
A policeman checks the weight of a truck. Many goods remain unloaded at ports in Hai Phong City due to tightened controls of overloaded trucks. — VNA/VNS The Duyet

HAI PHONG  (VNS) — The tightened controls on overloaded trucks, enforced by the Transport Ministry since April, has been blamed for the increase of goods unloaded at ports in the northern city of Hai Phong.

At Dinh Vu Port, there are now 12,000 containers being stored, which is one-and-a-half times higher than usual. This has resulted in a shortage of space, making it difficult for the port to receive additional shipments. Other ports, including Hong Dieu, Vat Cach, Le Quoc, Duy Linh and Tien Manh, report having similar storage problems for the past two months.

President of Hai Phong Association of Road Transport Companies, Le Van Tien, said that since the ministry tightened controls over the loading of trucks on the nation's roads, as many as 60 per cent of container trucks belonging to local firms are no longer qualified to carry containers.

"Most of the trucks were registered to carry much less weight than the load of containers," he said.

In order to have the trucks lawfully run on the roads, transport firms had to shift to using other trucks or arrange for trucks that were suitable for the goods they were carrying, Tien said.

He said that investment to comply with these changes has been difficult for the firms because most face shortages of funds and suffer from increased fees and fuel costs.

"A road map is needed for the firms to adapt," he said, implying that the ministry's overloaded truck regulations have been carried out too quickly.

Hoang Minh Tuan, president of northern Lao Cai Province's Enterprises Association, said that the tightened controls over trucks pushed up transportation costs and that both goods owners and transport firms were waiting to see if the April regulation was strictly enforced.

In the past, the Transport Ministry paid improper attention to truck loading, leading to the large increase in overloaded trucks traveling on roads – which is blamed for causing damage to the nation's roads.

Deputy director of Hai Phong Transport Department Nguyen Duc Tho said that his office asked the Transport Ministry to upgrade loading and unloading systems at inland water ports and railway stations in the city to reduce the burden on road transportation.

The city also urged the improvement and construction of railways that linked the major sea ports.

Tho said that municipal authorities asked port operators to make full use of their capacity in transferring goods.

"Goods owners will be fined if they have their goods remaining at the ports for excessive periods," he said.

Port operators were encouraged to help goods owners and transport firms with transport costs so that goods could be moved out of the ports as soon as possible, Tho said. — VNS

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