A container terminal at the financially troubled Cai Mep-Thi Vai port complex in Ba Ria-Vung Tau province in southern Vietnam will temporarily close its business operations as a result of slow traffic and stiff competition at the seaport system, reports said.
The SP-SSA International Container Terminal plans to suspend operations at its 38-hectare terminal in a bid to avert bankruptcy, state-owned Vinalines reportedly told Minister of Transport Dinh La Thang recently.
Terminals at the Cai Mep-Thi Vai port complex have been reporting huge losses since last year as operations have shrunk to 15 percent of capacity owing to dwindling demand. Some incurred losses last year of up to US$30 million, said an online report on the Vietnam Investment Review.
The Cai Mep region has five new terminals established over the past five years with a sixth also given approval to operate. The port complex was initially envisioned to ease congestion at ports in neighboring Ho Chi Minh City and become the main gateway for import-export operations in the south, the country’s economic hub.
But Ho Chi Minh City ports have yet to be closed, reports said, despite a longtime plan by the Vietnamese government to do so.
“We now have to share a pie with terminals in Ho Chi Minh City, which should be closed and relocate to Ba Ria-Vung Tau in accordance with the government’s plan,” said Tran Khanh Sinh, director of Tan Cang-Cai Mep, as quoted by the Vietnam Investment Review.