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What is the model of logistics development for the Mekong Delta region?

12:21 | 01/07/2022

VCN - As the seafood and food export center of the country, most of the export goods of the Mekong Delta region are transported to the ports of Ho Chi Minh City and Ba Ria-Vung Tau to board export ships. At seminars on logistics development in the Mekong Delta held at the end of March 2022, many models and solutions were proposed by experts.

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Long An international port contributes to supporting import-export activities, reducing costs for businesses in the Mekong Delta. Photo: T.H
Long An international port contributes to supporting import-export activities, reducing costs for businesses in the Mekong Delta. Photo: T.H

Developing a large port system

Mr. Nguyen Chi Hung, Head of Investment Planning Department, Vietnam Maritime Administration, said that the weak point of the Mekong Delta is that the seaport is deeply located in the river, and the navigation channel is limited, it can accept small ships while the trend of the fleet is increasing day by day.

Increasing in size, the seaport system is dispersed. The system of inland ports, logistics centers, and industrial parks has not been completed. The capacity of the transport network is not high, while quality human resources are still lacking.

Therefore, seaports need to be further developed to improve the logistics system of the Mekong Delta.

From the perspective of export enterprises, Mr. Truong Dinh Hoe, General Secretary of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers, said that in order to reduce the cost of import-export goods, it is necessary to establish a large seaport in the region to receive direct export goods from neighboring provinces.

From April 1, 2022, Ho Chi Minh City will collect seaport infrastructure fees for import-export containers through the city's ports. This will be a big challenge for import and export enterprises; therefore, the development of seaports in Can Tho is a more urgent issue. It is hoped that seafood shipments will be exported directly at the port in Can Tho.

Commenting on restrictions on exports through ports, Mr. Nguyen Phuong Lam, Director of VCCI Can Tho, said that for the current port system in the Mekong Delta, the proportion of goods circulating accounts for only about 3% of the volume of export goods, container goods alone are less than 1%.

According to Mr. Lam, this is difficult for the Mekong Delta provinces in developing the port system, and at the same time, it is necessary to have specific policies.

"If there is a large port system that can handle container ships and is well connected, it will solve the problem of reducing costs for import and export goods of enterprises in the Mekong Delta," said Mr. Nguyen Phuong Lam.

As a pioneer shipping line that opened its core at Cai Cui port from July 2021, Mr. Hoang Cao Dinh, a representative of Maersk Vietnam shipping company, said that in July 2021 when Ho Chi Minh City implemented social distancing, the supply chain is broken to support rice exporters in the Mekong Delta, Maersk Vietnam has provided empty container services from Cai Cui port to receive goods, transport barges to HCM City and Cai Mep ports, helping businesses save a lot of costs.

Currently, this shipping company is increasing output through Cai Cui port, requesting the port to improve its capacity to repair empty containers and pack goods.

Many new solutions and models

The geographical location of the Mekong Delta is favorable, including a long and high-quality waterway network, capable of exploiting transportation, with two arterial waterways from Ho Chi Minh City to Kien Giang, Ca Mau and Quan Chanh Bo canal for ships.

The Mekong Delta is currently receiving attention and investment in developing a methodical and stable logistics system, promoting its potential as a hub for exporting goods and as a gateway to integrate many services of convenient seaports in the region.

Mr. Dinh Xuan Khanh, Director of Saigon Newport Water Transport Joint Stock Company, said that in recent years, fuel prices have increased sharply, along with scarcity and an increase in rental prices for empty containers, which causes difficulties for import-export businesses.

The collection of infrastructure fees and traffic BOT stations also increases the costs for enterprises. In order to avoid these costs, Mr. Khanh suggested solutions, and businesses increase transportation by water. Currently, Saigon Newport is developing a fleet of barges to transport goods from the Mekong Delta directly to Cai Mep, not through Ho Chi Minh City;

At the same time, import-export businesses suggest that Ho Chi Minh City consider that goods connected from the Mekong Delta by waterway will be free of seaport infrastructure because they do not use the road infrastructure system of Ho Chi Minh City.

According to Mr. Nguyen Xuan Khanh, Saigon Newport is currently deploying to connect goods from the Mekong Delta to Cambodia and vice versa; connecting goods from the Mekong Delta to Cambodia via Thuong Phuoc port; connecting barges to transport goods from the Mekong Delta to Cai Mep directly, shortening the transportation time.

According to Mr. Vo Quoc Thang, Chairman of Dong Tam Group, Long An international port is currently focusing on implementing construction and preparing for the installation plan of the most modern and advanced crane equipment imported from Japan, the goal is to be completed in 2023.

From Long An international port, there will be barges and trains closely linked with other ports from My Tho, Ben Tre, Tra Vinh, Vinh Long, Cao Lanh , Hong Ngu, Long Xuyen to Nga Bay port. The general model is that all ports receive goods and connect with each other, customers everywhere can send goods at ports to transfer to a focal point. The ports are linked with each other according to each fixed daily transport like a bus model, and then it will maximize the efficiency of the ports in the region. This is a new model built with the hope of turning Long An into an important logistics center in the southern key economic region.

Currently, Long An international port is also developing a cold storage system and is highly appreciated by many customers. According to Mr. Thang, the development of the cold storage system at the port today will be a premise to be able to link the "container bus" network.

According to this project, inland river ports in the region will become "bus" stations in an interconnected manner to transport goods in concentrated containers to the terminus of Long An International Port and to circulate internationally.

By Le Thu/Bui Diep