Container fleet must be modernized to maintain growth momentum | Business

A seaport in Vietnam (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Despite the complicated developments of the COVID-19[female[feminine
pandemic, the volume of goods through sea ​​ports maintains its growth momentum, in particular containerized freight. The connection between the two modes of sea and river transport has undergone positive changes, reducing the pressure on road transport.

According to statistics from the Vietnam Maritime Administration (VMA), the Vietnamese-flagged cargo fleet currently numbers around 1,050 units, but of which only 38, or 4 percent, are container ships and the number has almost remained. unchanged in the 2016- 2021 period.

At present, Vietnam’s import and export transport market is mainly dominated by foreign shipping companies, and the proportion of the domestic fleet is only 6%.

Therefore, improving competitiveness in the international market by “rejuvenating” the national fleet is identified as an urgent task at present.

VMA Deputy Director Nguyen Dinh Viet said that despite the severe impacts of the pandemic, the volume of cargo handled by domestic vessels in 2021 is estimated at 156.5 million tonnes, up 2% from one year to the next.

Vietnam’s seaports handled more than 703 million tonnes of cargo during the year, a 2 percent year-over-year increase. The total volume of containerized freight passing through seaports increased 6% year-on-year to 23.9 million TEUs.

At the end of November, the container transport route directly connecting Vietnam, Malaysia and India of the Vietnam Maritime Corporation JSC (VIMC) was officially established. Not only by shortening the transport time by 10 days compared to the previous transshipment route via Port Kelang in Malaysia, ships choosing this route can also go direct, without having to combine with foreign container ships.

This gives hope that Vietnam will have an intercontinental fleet, helping cargo owners to be proactive in importing and exporting goods, instead of depending on foreign shipping companies with costs 5-7 times higher.

However, according to a maritime expert, in the intra-Asian market, the average container ship size is around 3,000 to 5,000 TEUs, while Vietnam’s largest container ship is around 1,800 TEUs. If the ships are not modernized soon, it will be difficult for the Vietnamese fleet to survive in the intra-Asian region, let alone reach the international market./.

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