Vietnam’s Ministry of Transport (MOT) plans to reassess the port system in the southern part of the country as the imbalance in utilization between Ho Chi Minh ports and those at the Cai Mep-Thi Vai port complex widens, according to a report published on the Vietnamese Seaports Association website.
Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Van Cong said his ministry will evaluate the performance of the underemployed Cai Mep-Thi Vai port complex in the southern coastal province of Ba Ria Vung Tau, and apply necessary measures as suggested by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to make it more attractive to shippers.
In its newly released report, JICA warned that the Cai Mep-Thi Vai port complex and other ports in Ho Chi Minh City will be in trouble by 2015 without the necessary changes to investment priorities and needed operational improvements to correct a demand imbalance.
According to the JICA report, the container ports in the south saw an annual growth rate of 12 percent from 2009 to 2012. Of these ports, those in Ho Chi Minh were heavily favored by shipping lines, making up 79 percent of total handling volume, while the Cai Mep-Thi Vai ports contributed only 19 percent.
The common ports in Ho Chi Minh are more widely used because the Cai Mep-Thi Vai ports are located farther from industrial zones, forcing shipping firms to pay for the round trips.
JICA said that without state intervention, Ho Chi Minh City would face an oversupply situation by 2015, while the undersupply crisis at Cai Mep-Thi Vai would deepen.
It suggested a series of measures to help raise operational efficiency at the Cai Mep-Thi Vai, including the establishment of port authorities in the area, to remedy the lopsided utilization.