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News239

Weak Seaport Competitive Force
By BR-VT, 30 Sep 2011
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Infrastructure, transport connections, maritime safety have many limitations that reduce the competitiveness of Ba Ria – Vung Tau seaports
Photo: Thành Huy

At the conference, representatives of shipping companies offer many ideas to leaders of Vinamarine on issues such as costs for shipping, navigation channel safety ...

Large vessels access to Cai Mep - Thi Vai, but small fishing boats which always appear through the running vessel bow for “luck” are dangerous and unsafe

 

Many issues relating seaport system planning and development were anatomized at Conference for efficiency enhancing of International seaport management and operation in the area of Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province taking place yesterday 29 September at Vung Tau City.

WEAK COMPETATIVE FORCE

Initiating the Conference, Mr. Nguyen Ngoc Hue, Director of Vietnam Maritime Administration (Vinamarine) addressed investment efficiency evaluation of seaport development during the past years. Till now, Vietnam basically completed the seaport investment and construction as Master plan of seaport system development toward 2010. Deploying this Plan, our country formed 3 port centers throughout 3 regions of North, Central and South. Seaport system rapidly developed in quantity as well as quality, volume of goods through the ports at the average rate of 13 % per year. Especially, year 2010, the volume of goods through ports reached 259 million ton, exceeding 40% compared to forecast. Volume of container goods reached 6.5 million TEU, accomplishing the planned goal which is to be through whole volume of importing and exporting goods.

However, there haven’t been many deep – water ports to cater large size  vessels, therefore, most of Vietnam’s goods are still transshipped through ports of Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan causing cost increasing and competitive force reducing – said Mr.Hue.

According to Mr.Hue, most of main ports next to economic centers are deep in rivers so navigation channels are long and have many curves with limited depth and frequently filled by silt reducing ability of channel clearing. Vung Tau – Sai Gon channel belonging to Dong Nai River, in case most stable, it will only reach 8.5 m, permit vessel of 15,000 DWT and bigger ones with access restriction condition. Hai Phong Channel from -5.5m to -6.4 m permits vessels of 10,000 DWT for access. Channels to other ports are more difficult, especially the ones across Dinh An embouchure to ports along Bassac River of Cuu Long Delta.

At the Conference, some delegates assumed traffic system linking ports to residential area, economic zones, export processing zone, has’t been constructed in sync, therefore, it frequently causes stuck and stagnant goods in ports. Besides, performance of berth’s palletized equipment is not high as well as specialized palletizers are lack so it is late for releasing out vessels which affects much to economic efficiency.

“Inadequate issues from infrastructure connecting to goods distribution, logistics services centers and specific favor mechanism to run, convenience in port operation make competitive force of Vietnam’s sea ports much weaker than others in ASEAN region”– affirmed Director of Vietnam Maritime Administration. Evidence of this lagging is that several shipping companies reduce key routes from 16 down to 12 (Hanjin moved European Route from Tan Cang Cai Mep, CMA-CGM moved the Mediterranean route). While, Vietnam currently is attracting the interest of many major ship companies, world’s leading port operators for sea transport investment and operation such as: PSA (Singapore), Hutchison Port Holdings (Hong Kong - China), Maersk (Denmark), SSA Marine (USA), CMA-CGM (France)....

UNSAFE NAVIGATION CHANNEL

Inadequate issues from seaport management and operation method, Mr. Tran Khan Sin, Director of Saigon New Port Corporation said, the navigation channel for foreign vessels to get in ports is most concerned.

Presently, the float systems are modernly installed, achieve international standard and highly appreciated by captains. However, the installation for Racon (the equipment reflects against radar beam) on Buoy Zero which assists vessels on access to navigation channel more accurate and quickly was recommended long time before but it hasn’t been satisfied yet. The navigation channel is also not good, so it causes many troubles for customers. Ship companies pay the navigation channel fees, but due to the navigation channel occupation by fishing ships, they have to pay more on support boats to clear the channel for maritime safety. The supervision of maritime safety in region is rather backward. “We lack VTS, camera system for navigation channel supervision. At ports in the region, the marine security guards can closely monitor every movement of means of transport on the channel and in the anchorage area. Any abnormalities which may cause the risk of marine safety are immediately warned. This problem in our country is still a long story.” – pressed Mr. Sinh 

As same as this point, Mr. Nguyen Khac Du, Director of Vung Tau Pilot Company indicated the safety hazards on the navigation channel. He said that currently Vung Tau Port area has more than 15 journeys of large container ships in and out. However, on the navigation channels occurring many means of fishing. Especially, the dangerous practice of Vung Tau fishermen is to use their boat through the bow of large vessels running. Therefore, he recommended local authorities should soon consider building the VTS system in Vung Tau for their control of vessels in traffic violations to remind and handling.

According to Mr.Tran Ngoc Thoi, Vice Chairman of Ba Ria – Vung Tau Provincial People’s committee, in order to well operate ports, enterprises must have the stable source of goods; joint venture to unify the common benefits; building the best logistics services such as warehouses, yards, goods clearance and inspection, rapid permits; supporting goods services in time; implementation of specific incentive policies to attract shippers, vessel owners, such as price, the appropriate treatment ...obeying to law; Investment for transport infrastructure development completely connected to local-area ports and outside area of highways, inter-regional roads; Research for multimodal transport construction and operation to optimally ensure operation of transport, reducing cost of transport. In particular, investors and port operators must have the capacity, are highly professional and strictly abide by state regulations.

Report, photos: Thanh Huy – Phuc Minh

According to Vinamarine, the sea port management of Vietnam is different from most of countries around the world. To manage port, the management authorities/agencies shall take responsibilities for management process from planning and construction to leasing yards, performing dredging; maintenance and marine services such as pilots, tugboats ... Such management method would  limit the lack of integrated construction and operation; it is hard to occur inadequate situation on sea port construction and transport system which cause traffic congestion and stagnant goods ... Our country needs improvements on organizational issues and management mechanism then the maritime field will make great advances.

Ba Ria – Vung Tau will become the world’s modern sea port zone
Presently, the area of ​​Ba Ria - Vung Tau comprises 52 ports of which 24 have been completed and put into operation; all of them are very large and modern such as CMIT, SP-PSA, SITV, Tan Cang Cai Mep… In 2009, volume of goods through Ba Ria – Vung Tau ports reaches 31 million tons; about 37.1 million tons in 2010 and about 35 million tons during the first eight months of 2011. More importantly, Vietnam’s import and export goods don’t have to transit to Singapore or Hong Kong, they are transferred directly from Ba Ria-Vung Tau to the world's major ports of Europe and the United States.
     According to Vinamarine, in the next few years Ba Ria-Vung Tau ports will become the world’s modern sea port zone which can receive vessels of over 100,000 DWT and ship directly from Vietnam to US and Europe. With a capacity of tens of millions of TEU / per year, the ability of Ba Ria-Vung Tau presenting in the list of the world’s leading ports is real.

(Translated by Portcoast)

 
 

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