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Big enough to receive super vessels
According to Nguyen Minh Tuan, CEO of TCIT Port, in 2020, despite the Covid-19 pandemic having a great impact on import and export activities globally, the throughput of goods through the port still reached nearly 2.1 million TEU, an increase of 7% compared to 2019.
Mr. Tuan said: “Cat Lai Port took 11 years to achieve 1 million TEU throughput, but TCIT achieved this milestone after only six years and reached 2 million TEU after ten years of operation. Currently, most of the shipping lines alliances such as THE Alliance, Ocean Alliance, 2M Alliance, CMA have operators at TCIT Port.”
In the last ten years, a series of ports have been built along the Cai Mep – Thi Vai river route. In early January 2021, Gemalink port officially came into operation by welcoming the first commercial ship to dock with 8,400 TEU. The presence of Gemalink has helped increase the capacity to receive large ships in Cai Mep – Thi Vai.
Mr. Tran Thuong Chi, Director of the Department of Transport of Ba Ria-Vung Tau province, said that the Cai Mep – Thi Vai area has 35 ports, and has put into operation 22 ports with a capacity of 117.8 million tons per year. In which, there are seven container ports with a capacity of 6.8 million TEU per year. Every week, this area welcomes a total of 24 container ships to load cargo. There are currently more mother ship services to the US and Europe than other countries in Southeast Asia (after only Malaysia and Singapore), and the ship size to Cai Mep increases rapidly, helping to optimize shipping costs per container and shipping time.
By 2020, the total volume of cargo handled through ports in Cai Mep – Thi Vai area will reach 112.8 million tons. Particularly, container cargo through the port by seagoing vessels reached 32.4 million tons, an increase of about 11%. In particular, in 2020, Cai Mep CMIT International Port was one of about 20 harbor zones in the world that can accommodate the Margrethe Maersk container ship – one of the largest container ships in the world today with the tonnage of 214,121 DWT, carrying capacity up to 18,300 TEU, contributing to affirm the position of Cai Mep – Thi Vai port system on the world maritime map.
Share with Cat Lai
Although receiving a huge amount of goods and having a high growth rate over the years, according to Mr. Phan Tri Dung, Deputy Director of Cai Mep Port Customs Branch, about 82% of goods are brought to Ho Chi Minh City and the Southeastern provinces for customs of goods. This puts heavy pressure on the transportation system and ports in HCMC, especially Cat Lai port.
According to businesses, the difference in distance between the two routes to Cat Lai and Cai Mep port is the main factor that companies prioritize procedures for export and import at Cat Lai port instead of Cai Mep. In particular, most of the empty containers are currently concentrated in the areas of Cat Lai, Thu Duc, Dong Nai, Binh Duong, so the route to Cat Lai will help save costs.
To solve this problem, Mr. Nguyen Minh Tuan said that Saigon Newport Corporation is planning to open empty depots in the Cai Mep – Thi Vai area. Along with that, the port has also introduced electronic delivery orders (EDO) for shipping lines, saving time and costs compared to using paper.
On the side of the management agency, Mr. Tran Thuong Chi said that in the future, the Department of Transport of Ba Ria-Vung Tau will exchange information with shipping lines, warehouses, yards and ports and other logistics services to implement optimal coordination between state management activities and business operations, ensuring efficiency and minimizing congestion in goods circulation.
In particular, traffic congestion – which has been considered a problem for many years, is expected to be solved when a series of projects are implemented and completed.
Typically, the project of Cai Mep – Thi Vai inter-port road, 18.1 km long, connecting Cai Mep area to Nhon Trach district (Dong Nai) has now been completed and put into use. The project of Phuoc An bridge over Thi Vai river connecting the Cai Mep – Thi Vai inter-port road with Phuoc An port (Nhon Trach district, Dong Nai province) has also been approved for investment and is and in the process of selecting architectural design options; bidding, and selecting a contractor to prepare the feasibility study project for the project.
Along with that, many other projects are also being implemented such as the Road 991B project from Highway 51 to downstream of Cai Mep port, the project of Phuoc Hoa – Cai Mep road, and the road behind My Xuan – Thi Vai port, Long Son – Cai Mep road.
From the perspective of the Customs sector, Ba Ria Vung Tau Customs Department is also making great efforts in attracting goods to clear customs at Cai Mep – Thi Vai. Regular dialogue conferences are held with export and import enterprises, warehouse, storage and port enterprises to solve difficulties and problems.
Along with that, it is expected that in the second quarter of 2021, the project of the Cai Mep – Thi Vai centralized goods inspection site, invested by the Customs Department of Ba Ria – Vung Tau province, will be put into use.
The General Department of Customs has also agreed to approve two mobile container scanners to support inspection, help shorten customs clearance time for businesses, contributing to attracting goods sources for Cai Mep – Thi Vai area.