The maritime industry makes a spectacular "breakthrough" during the COVID-19 pandemic

In 2021, the Covid-19 epidemic will continue to negatively affect transportation activities, including maritime, however, the total volume of goods through seaports will still maintain an upward momentum, becoming a bright spot of the economy. economic.
Impressive growth during the pandemic
Nguyen Dinh Viet, Deputy Director of the Vietnam Maritime Administration (Ministry of Transport), said that in 2021, although maritime activities are greatly affected by the Covid-19 epidemic, the total volume of goods through the seaport Vietnam is still estimated to reach more than 703 million tons, up 2% compared to 2020.
In which, exports reached more than 184 million tons, up 4%; domestic goods reached nearly 303 million tons, up 5%. Particularly, container cargo was estimated at nearly 24 million TEUs, up 6% over the same period last year.
Total transport volume transported by Vietnam's shipping fleet also prospered during the pandemic, estimated at 156.5 million tons, up 2% compared to 2020.
In which, the container cargo volume of Vietnam's shipping fleet is estimated at more than 3 million TEUs, up 12% over the previous year. The fleet of ships with Vietnamese flags is still taking care of nearly 100% of domestic goods transported by sea, except for some specialized ships such as LPG, bulk cement, etc.
"The volume of import and export goods for international transport of Vietnam's shipping fleet also has a rare growth rate, increasing by 54% (reaching nearly 5 million tons) compared to 2020. Main commodities transported Loading on routes: China, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia and some European routes, "said Mr. Viet.
In particular, according to information from Mr. Viet, in 2021, the number of ships carrying foreign flags through Vietnam's seaports reached more than 59,100, an increase of up to 30% over the same period in 2020. In which, mainly Small vessels under 200 DWT operating in Quang Ninh area.

The number of ships flying the Vietnamese flag also increased slightly (3%) during the Covid-19 pandemic with more than 52,500 passages of ships. The increase in the number of ships transporting goods through the port helped the throughput of goods through the port by ships reach more than 368 million tons, up 6% over the same period last year.

Two clusters of ports Lach Huyen and Cai Mep - Thi Vai are "stars".

The year 2021 also recorded many seaport areas with high growth in cargo throughput, such as: Quang Ngai area increased by 37%; Quy Nhon area increased by 16% and Hai Phong area increased by 9%.

“In terms of container cargo, most areas with a large volume of container throughput have positive growth such as: Vung Tau area increased by 15%; HCMC area increased by 3%; Hai Phong area increased by 14% and Dong Nai area increased by 6%…”, Mr. Viet said.

Mr. Nguyen Anh Vu, Director of Hai Phong Port Authority, said that in 2021, cargo throughput through two launch terminals (1, 2) Lach Huyen port will reach over 570,000 TEUs, an increase of 8% over the same period last year. 2020.

At the same time of statistics, Cai Mep - Thi Vai port cluster, although the total number of container ships reached just over 2,300, down 6% over the same period last year, the throughput of container cargo still reached more than 7 million TEUs. , an increase of 15% over the same period last year.

Cao Trung Ngoan, former General Director of Hai Phong Port Joint Stock Company, said that now, when the Covid-19 epidemic in Vietnam and many countries around the world is gradually being controlled. The demand for production and consumption of goods increases rapidly, the trend of using container ships with a capacity of 12,000 TEU will increase in 2023 - 2024. Therefore, goods through Lach Huyen port will achieve a growth rate of more than 20 %/year.

In Cai Mep - Thi Vai, after the Covid-19 epidemic is under control, the growth rate of container cargo is expected to return to normal, from 800,000 to 1 million TEU/year.

The year 2021 marks a special development of Vietnam's seaports in Hai Phong, Ho Chi Minh City. Ho Chi Minh, Ba Ria - Vung Tau. These ports have entered the list of 50 seaports through the largest container volume in the world. Gateway ports such as Lach Huyen (Hai Phong), Cai Mep (Ba Ria - Vung Tau) allow to receive the largest container ships in the world today (over 200,000 DWT).

Cargo through seaports, especially newly developed seaports such as Ba Ria - Vung Tau, has been assessed by international maritime magazines as having the highest growth rate in the world in recent years.

"This shows that seaport services in Vietnam are increasingly improving, improving efficiency through goods and supporting shipping activities, especially international shipping," said Mr. Viet.

Breakthroughs are needed for Vietnam's maritime industry to develop
Referring to the construction of infrastructure, one of the two breakthroughs for the transport industry in general and the maritime sector in particular, according to Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Xuan Sang, thanks to the comprehensive planning and flexibility in the construction industry. implementing the master plan, Vietnam has a synchronous seaport system spanning the whole country.
“In the past, many people thought that we had 'port syndrome'. Every locality wanted a port, creating fragmentation. However, I think that, thanks to the extensive port system, we have formed an inland coastal transport network, contributing to reducing the amount of goods by road, reducing pressure on roads, promoting the benefits of the country. alternative mode of transport in large volumes, low cost, and environmentally friendly," said Mr. Sang.
According to Mr. Sang, thanks to the developed seaport system, from Vietnam, goods can be exported directly on shipping routes to intra-Asian countries. Thanks to the breakthrough in seaports and the world's largest ship-catching capacity of seaports, we have a long-distance shipping route from gateway ports such as Lach Huyen, Cai Mep - Thi Vai to the West coast. , East coast of America, Europe.
“The efficiency in seaport operation has helped Vietnam attract a large amount of investment from socialization. Of the total 250,000 billion invested in maritime infrastructure in the past 10 years, mobilized social capital accounts for 84%. A good result in the context of a tight budget,” added the Deputy Minister.
According to Mr. Sang, seaports are playing the leading role of tugboats for shipping, developing logistics services, helping shipping businesses start to make profits and stand in the maritime market.
In the master plan on development of Vietnam's seaport system in the period of 2021 - 2030, with a vision to 2050, the newly published study and application of the open port policy at Lach Huyen, Cai Mep - Thi Vai wharves and Van Phong.
Economic expert, Dr. Ngo Tri Long said that, in the context of complicated developments of the Covid-19 epidemic, an open port, if implemented effectively, will not only help Vietnam expand trade in goods, but also help Vietnam's seaports attract shipping lines to operate. to become an international transit station by sea.
However, according to Dr. Ngo Tri Long, before thinking about that, the authorities should soon complete the legal system, define clear criteria for open ports, and issue detailed instructions on uniformly applying the open port model across the country. water.
Sharing the same view, Mr. Tran Khanh Hoang, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Seaports Association, said that in the face of complicated developments of the Covid-19 epidemic, it is necessary to promote the development of an open port model. Ministries, branches and functional agencies need to study and develop clear institutions and operating mechanisms for open ports.
The first criterion for an open port is that the area must be large enough, like the Jafza area of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with an area of ​​nearly 6,000 hectares.
“In the short term, the scale of open ports in Vietnam may be smaller, but must ensure the formation of all subdivisions for transshipment, transit goods, non-tariff areas, which can be used for trading, packing and rearranging goods; reinforcing, repairing or replacing containers, semi-finished products, spare parts... as models in many countries such as China, UAE... are being implemented effectively. There are such areas in Hai Phong. In Cai Mep Ha area, there is an area of ​​nearly 1,800 hectares and can still be expanded to Ganh Rai bay to form an open port," Hoang analyzed.
According to Mr. Hoang, the advantage in deploying an open port at Lach Huyen, Hai Phong is that it can receive ships from 15,000 to 18,000 TEU, the Cai Mep channel can also receive ships of up to 24,000 TEU or larger when dredged. to a depth of -15.5m.
Along with Lach Huyen, Cai Mep, in the future, Nam Do Son area (Hai Phong) is also an ideal place to form an open port, processing zone, industrial park and free trade zone with an area of about 6,000 ha/.
Seaport planning focuses on developing 6 main port clusters
The Ministry of Transport has just organized a conference to announce the master plan for development of Vietnam's seaport system in the period of 2021 - 2030, with a vision to 2050.
Accordingly, Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The said that in the coming time, the implementation of the plan will be focused on 6 main port clusters.
Port cluster No. 1 will focus on upgrading Hai Phong seaport system: Turn Lach Huyen port into a port serving only container cargo. Dinh Vu port - Cam river is continued to be maintained, serving the industrial park in the area. Bulk cargo, liquid cargo, gas cargo, and orientation will be moved to Nam Do Son and Van Uc areas.
“Particularly for the Nam Do Son and Van Uc wharf areas, this is a breakthrough point in this planning. The planned and formed wharf area will not only promote the development of industrial zones/groups south of the Hanoi - Hai Phong highway, but will also be the driving force for industrial development in the contiguous Thai Binh province; At the same time, the infrastructure connecting to the northern seaport area will also be more convenient when there is the Ring Road 4 in Hanoi and the road system in Hanoi.

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