According to the Vietnam Inland Waterway Administration, the inland waterway transport system in the delta measures 13,000km but traffic on these parts is not as busy as it should be.
Thus, 70 percent of goods coming from the Delta to HCM City ports and Cai Mep – Thi Vai Port in Ba Ria-Vung Tau province are transported by road, which costs 10-60 percent more than waterway transport.
In a recent report on plans to develop HCM City's waterway network, Tran Vinh Tuyen, Deputy Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, said the city has 92 waterway routes but only eight meet transport requirements.
Besides, the delta has 117 bridges with low clearance, making it difficult for ships to sail under them.
Tran Quang Trung, head of the Southern Region Inland Waterway Administration, told Tuoi tre (Youth) newspaper that to develop waterway transport all the low bridges need to be replaced.
In HCM City, authorities dismantled the Phu Long Bridge in District 12 and replaced the old Binh Loi Railway Bridge in Binh Thanh district with a new taller one this year, he said.
Delta authorities have begun building a new Mang Thit Bridge in Vinh Long province and Nang Hai Bridge in Dong Thap province to begin waterway transportation between HCM City and Kien Giang province, he said.
Infrastructure for inland waterway routes must be developed simultaneously, with inland ports and wharves in the delta equipped with advanced technologies and equipment for loading and unloading and transshipment, he added.