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Maritime agency wants to downsize HCMC ports

The Vietnam Maritime Administration has expressed the intention to downsize ports in HCMC to divert ships to the underperforming Cai Mep-Thi Vai port complex in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province.

The administration will write to the Ministry of Transport proposing limiting cargo throughput at the city’s ports to help the Cai Mep-Thi Vai port complex cope with undercapacity.
The administration’s deputy head Bui Thien Thu mentioned this plan at the Logistics Forum 2015 in HCMC last Friday.

At the forum, many enterprises bemoaned ports in the southern region, especially Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province, are grappling with undercapacity while Cat Lai Port in HCMC’s District 2 always faces cargo backlogs, thus causing traffic congestion on the streets leading to the port.

Thu said the Cai Mep-Thi Vai port complex is operating at 15% capacity. He said the transport ministry has taken a slew of solutions including a pilotage reduction but the number of ships using the port complex has remained woefully low.

Thu attributed the situation to weak cooperation between provinces and the competition between HCMC and Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province to lure cargo vessels to their ports.

To solve the problem, Thu said VMA will propose the ministry apply a throughput limit plan at HCMC’s ports to enable the Cai Mep-Thi Vai port complex to handle more cargo based on the experience in developing Laem Chabang Port in Thailand when the Thai government imposed a cargo volume ceiling on Bangkok Port. As a result, more shipping lines dispatched their vessels to Laem Chabang.

Thu said that a similar approach will be applied if the National Assembly approves draft amendments to the Maritime Code.

Saigon Newport Corporation (SNP) in May signed a contract to lease infrastructure facilities at Phu Huu Port to reduce cargo volume at Cat Lai Port.

To ease cargo congestion Cat Lai Port, the ministry has allowed SNP to build an inland container depot on over 11 hectares in Phu Thach Commune, Nhon Trach District of Dong Nai Province with a designed capacity of 150,000 TEUs per year.

Source: The Saigon Times