The total volume of goods passing through the ports of Vietnam Seaports Association in Ho Chi Minh City in 2004 increased by 11 per cent over last year to about 25 million tonnes, accounting for over one third of the total nationwide, according to Vietnam Seaport Association (VPA), which compiled statistics from cargo reports by member ports.
With 40 ports on its books, VPA is the strongest performer with the highest combined cargo handling capacity among the country’s 110 ports.
The cargo passing through Ho Chi Minh City-based ports was an encouraging figure for VPA in comparison with the Vietnam's nationwide total of 73 million tonnes recorded a fortnight before the end of 2004, according to VPA's general secretary Ho Kim Lan.
Saigon Port, a VPA's member claimed progress was slower at its stevedoring terminals such as Khanh Hoi, Nha Rong, Tan Thuan 1 and Tan Thuan 2, which all saw a slight decrease in cargo throughput.
Saigon Port have criticised toll collection along roads to the ports in Ho Chi Minh City, claiming it slows down traffic, but the total cargo throughput at Saigon Port reached 10.9 million tonnes from the beginning of the year to the middle of December 2004, and is expected to reach 11.5 million tonnes by the end of the year, an equivalent of the figure for 2003.
There was an increase in cargo throughput at VICT, Lotus and Ben Nghe ports.
Also enjoying an increase in cargo throughput was Danang Port in the northern part of the country's central region, which handled 2.3 million tonnes of goods, an increase of 6 per cent on the same period of 2003, exceeding the annual cargo-handling target by 5 per cent, according to Danang Port director general Nguyen Thu.
"With the development of several major infrastructure projects in the central region, such as roads and bridges and breakwaters, Danang Port is expected to become the region's key seaport with container terminals able to accommodate heavy-tonnage ships," Thu said.