Viet Nam News
MEKONG DELTA — River and seaports in the Mekong Delta system of Group 6 ports handle a huge volume of goods, but 70 per cent amount of goods in the region are still carried by road to HCM City.
About 85 million tonnes of goods are being loaded at ports in the region each year, according to Trịnh Thế Cường from the Việt Nam Maritime Administration.
However, the seaports handle only 20-25 per cent of the total cargo shipped by sea in the region, while the remaining is transported through ports in the southeastern region, he said.
The Ministry of Transport’s Planning and Investment Department blamed the problem on inefficiency and poor management of the existing ports.
Transportation of goods via Cái Cui, Hoàng Diệu and Trà Nóc ports in Cần Thơ City reached 2.11 million tonnes in 2015, 1.04 million tonnes last year, and 0.548 million tonnes in the first three months of this year.
Although the Government has designated ports in Cần Thơ City as the main shipping hub of the delta, their overall operations represented only 35 per cent of the total capacity.
As of the end of 2016, Tân Cảng-Cái Cui Port was still focusing on container ships, and had not reached even 10 per cent of its capacity.
The owner of a container shipping unit in HCM City said that one tonne of cargo transported from the Mekong Delta to HCM City ports via sea costs $10, while transport costs by road are $11-16.
However, door-to-door sea transport services are higher in costs compared to roads because of the cost of loading and unloading, which accounts for 35-40 per cent of total costs.
The transit time via sea is more than five times longer, he said.
“That is the reason shipping in the Mekong Delta is not attracting goods with high transport quality requirements,” he said.
Đào Anh Dũng, deputy chairman of Cần Thơ City’s People’s Committee, said the Government has approved the city’s proposal to expand a logistics centre with a total area of 242.2ha at Cái Cui Port in Hưng Phú Industrial Zone 1B in Cái Răng District.
"This logistics centre plan is expected to be approved this year,” he said.
Trần Tuấn Hải, head of the Việt Nam National Shipping Lines’s (Vinalines) Communication and Development Strategy Department, said Vinalines was working with the Phnom Penh Autonomous Port (PPAP) in Cambodia to set up a new container transport route from PPAP to ports in Cần Thơ to improve cargo capacity.
Coordinating with PetroVietnam Power Corporation (PV Power), Vinalines has also launched a container transport route from Cái Cui Port to Singapore to transport coal to PV Power’s power plants, with output up to 7 million tonnes per year.
“This area also lacks dry ports and logistics centres to serve as transit points. Therefore, transport capacity is limited, and there are long waiting times and higher transport costs," he said.
Minister of Transport Nguyễn Văn Thể said that the Cái Cui Port in Cần Thơ City should be built and act as a key logistics centre in the delta and an international trading and transshipment hub in the region.
He also assigned the Ministry of Transport’s Planning and Investment Department to coordinate with the Việt Nam Maritime Administration to complete the overall planning of Trần Đề Port in Sóc Trăng.
Preferential policies on charges and fees are also urgently needed to encourage container ships to carry goods directly to Mekong Delta ports.
Group 6 ports include river ports and seaports in 12 provinces and cities, including Cao Lãnh-Sa Đéc Port in Đồng Tháp Province, Mỹ Tho Port in Tiền Giang Province, Vĩnh Thái Port in Vĩnh Long City, Hàm Luông Port in Bến Tre Province and ports along the Tiền River. These ports receive boats of 5,000 deadweight tonnes (DWT).
Seaports serving vessels of 10,000 to 20,000 DWT on the Hậu River include Hoàng Diệu, Cái Cui and Trà Nóc ports in Cần Thơ City, Mỹ Thới Port in An Giang Province, Đại Ngãi Port in Sóc Trăng Province and Trà Cú Port in Trà Vinh Province and other specialised ports.
For ships of 5,000 to 10,000 DWT, seaports in the Cà Mau peninsula and the Gulf of Thailand include Năm Căn Port in Cà Mau Province, and Hòn Chông, Bãi Nò, Bình Trị and specialised ports in Kiên Giang Province’s western coast.
By 2020, the ports’combined capacity in the region is expected to transport 28 million tonnes of goods annually and 71.5 million tonnes by 2030.
Of the figure, cargo and container ships will account for 21-26 million tonnes of the total annual volume. — VNS