Paucity of goods at Cai Mep-Thi Vai Seaport Complex

Many ports in the Cai Mep-Thi Vai Complex in the southeastern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, adjacent to Ho Chi Minh City, are falling in difficult times because of severe paucity of goods movement for them to be fully operational.

Cai Mep-Thi Vai Deep Seaport lacks patronage (Photo: SGGP)

Cai Mep-Thi Vai Complex belongs to the 5th Seaport Group comprising of ports in Ho Chi Minh City, Ba Ria-Vung Tau and Dong Nai Province.

The 5th Seaport Group plays a significant role in the development of the country’s port system. For the last several years, this group has received 50 percent of total commodities transported via Vietnam’s seaports.

The Cai Mep-Thi Vai Complex, with capacity to receive ships of up to 100,000 tons, now faces shortage of goods.

SP-PSA is a joint venture between Saigon Port and PSA Singapore. This was one of the first seaports built in the Cai Mep-Thi Vai Complex. SP-PSA has been forced to temporarily stop direct routings to Europe and the US because of low volume of commodities.

SSIT, which is one out of three ports with largest foreign investments at the Cai Mep-Thi Vai Complex, is also planning to provisionally shut down due to insufficient cargo.

Several other ports at the Cai Mep-Thi Vai Complex are also in the same situation.

The total capacity of the container wharfs at the Complex is 8.5 million TEU a year, but the volume of goods transported via ports was only 546,000 TEU in 2011 and 963,500 TEU in 2012, accounting for only nine percent and 16 percent of the total capacity. The condition is unlikely to improve this year.

The Government has decided to evacuate seaports from the center of Ho Chi Minh City area. Besides the aim to reduce traffic congestion, this decision has been made because Long Tau River, the main access route of vessels to reach seaports in the City for the last century has become shallow with silt deposits. Long Tau River now can accommodate only vessels of 30,000 tons.

Goods being loaded at Cat Lai Port in HCMC (Photo: SGGP)

HCMC has continued to invest in new seaports in Cat Lai and Hiep Phuoc areas so as to move the current ports on Saigon River.

In the meantime, the neighboring Cai Mep-Thi Vai Deep Seaport, which is expected to become an international entrance gate of the southern region in future, continues to be poorly patronized.

Seaport experts have said that authorized organs should soon remedy inadequacies in the 5th Seaport Group and help find solutions for difficulties at the Cai Mep-Thi Vai Complex, in order to create a breakthrough in the development of the country’s seaport industry.

According to the national seaport plan, Vietnam has eight groups of seaports nationwide. The first to fourth groups are those located in the central and northern region. The sixth group is in the Mekong Delta and the seventh and eighth groups are ports belonging to Phu Quoc, Con Dao Island and other islands in the southwestern region.

By Nguyen Khoa – Translated by Hai Mien

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