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PM URGES COMPLETION OF TRUNG LUONG-MY THUAN EXPRESSWAY BY 2020
Monday, 22 April 2019 01:39

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc Phuc has called upon the Ministry of Transport to complete construction of the Trung Luong-My Thuan-Can Tho expressway by 2020, during a meeting on regional development between some ministers and the Mekong Delta localities’ leaders on Friday in Can Tho City.

The maritime industry is one of the driving forces behind the economic development of the Mekong Delta. Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The said, at the meeting, that there is no better place than Soc Trang Province for maritime development.

Soc Trang is some 60 kilometers from Can Tho, and has three main inter-regional routes – National Road 1, Nam Song Hau National Road and the Quan Lo-Phung Hiep Road – alongside a number of national roads, said Minister The.

He added that Vietnam’s major real estate developer, Sun Group, plans to invest in the Tran De Seaport Project. “They want to set up a major port which can accommodate vessels weighing from 100,000 to 120,000 tons,” he said, adding that the developer intends to inject some VND40 trillion (US$1.7 billion) in the first phase of the project.

He noted that if everything goes as planned, import-export products to and from the delta will no longer have to transit in HCMC. Instead, such goods will be imported and exported directly at the port.

Also, if a planned expressway connecting Soc Trang, Can Tho and An Giang with Cambodia is in place, more industrial zones will be built in the region, thereby helping boost manufacturing operations there.

“If this is the case, the Mekong Delta can be on a par with the region of Dong Nai, Binh Duong and Binh Phuoc provinces,” he said, adding that this region flourishes thanks to its seaport system and neighboring Tan Son Nhat International Airport in HCMC.

He added that the Mekong Delta is already home to Can Tho International Airport. If the Tran De Seaport comes into existence, the entire region will see significant manufacturing improvements to boost its exports and overall economic development.

Aside from the maritime industry, it is also necessary to increase investments in transport infrastructure, especially in the road transport sector.

Minister The said that the Transport Ministry and the People’s Committee of Tien Giang Province are working together to adjust the Trung Luong-My Thuan Expressway project, in line with the prime minister’s instructions.

The Government has decided to offer financial support worth VND2.186 trillion (US$94.2 million) for the project, of which VND500 billion is sourced from the mid-term capital fund. The expressway will be opened to traffic by late 2020.

Regarding the My Thuan 2 Bridge linking Tien Giang and Vinh Long provinces, the National Assembly has chosen to allocate VND5.1 trillion. “The ministry has already approved this project. Work on the project is expected to start in December 2019 and finish in 2023,” he said.

Regarding an expressway section from My Thuan to Can Tho, he said the Government has asked the Ministry of Finance to consider using excess revenue from 2018 to allocate VND932 billion (around US$40 million) for the Ministry of Transport to develop the project whose bidding process is likely to take place later this year.

Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung echoed the same view, saying that priority should be given to capital allocations for roads, as specified in regional and inter-regional plans, along with waterways.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Phuc said that without proper transport infrastructure, it is impossible for the Mekong Delta to flourish.

“Among solutions, a breakthrough in infrastructure is the most important. The infrastructure here not only names bridges, roads, and airports, but also includes social infrastructure, schools, healthcare (facilities) and cultural institutions. (It can be) integrated into smart infrastructures, while digital connectivity is adopted more widely,” he said.

He added that there will be a conference on connectivity between the Mekong Delta, the southeastern region and HCMC in the near future.

In the short run, the Trung Luong-My Thuan-Can Tho Expressway needs to be opened to traffic in 2020, while the entire route needs to be available in 2021.

“This is a promise of the Minister of Transport, and of the Government. The Government will fully address the issues about policy mechanisms and funding,” he said.

Regarding other tasks in the time ahead, the Government leader underlined those related to climate change and sustainable development.

It is important to combine economic development and adaptation to climate change, he said, citing the successful examples of Israel and the Netherlands. He also called for research into climate change adaptation solutions for the region.

The Government is also planning a conference to review the execution of its resolution on sustainable and climate-resilient development of the Mekong Delta. One of the issues to be discussed at the event will be the allocation of resources for the region’s development.

 
VIETNAM WATER TRANSPORT IS "STRANDED"
Tuesday, 16 April 2019 09:22

As a country with large rivers and seas, only about 50% of inland waterway transport networks are counted in kilometers in our country. Transporting goods by coastal waterways is also very limited, accounting for only about 39% of cargo volume transported by sea. 

Waterway BOT is also very problematic, 10% increase in service charges at seaports

Inland Waterways Department said that in 2017, only about 50% of the inland waterway transportation network in kilometers can be easily navigated. It means that only about half of the 19,000km of waterways are convenient to travel, so many shippers in Vietnam only choose to go to waterways if the goods are large like coal, construction materials, fertilizer and cement .

Rice is a commodity that has the potential to be transported by waterway but only 4% of the rice produced in the Mekong Delta follows this path. Left to choose other options.

Referring to infrastructure, a recent report by the World Bank (WB) pointed out that most of the transport is done on 7,000km of nationally managed inland waterways. However, less than 30% of this network is suitable for barges with a tonnage of over 300 tons. This is a very modest rate compared to the successful commercial waterway transport network in the world.

The size of boats in Vietnam is not large due to the shallow depth of the canal, the small size of the navigation channel and low bridge clearance. Many ports have outdated facilities and low mechanization or poor maintenance, poor domestic connectivity.

In China, Europe or the United States, the inland waterway transport network is well developed to accommodate ships and boats with a tonnage of over 1,000 tons. Even the tonnage of these vehicles is even greater.

Recently, container shipping services have begun to be deployed in the Mekong Delta region with positive results. Saigon Newport Company said that the cost of transporting goods by barge from ports in the Mekong Delta to Cat Lai, Ho Chi Minh City decreased by 7% for each 40 feet container and 20% for 30-foot containers.

But in general, inland waterway ports in Vietnam have not yet met the container loading and unloading facilities. Approximately 15% of goods arriving at ports do not have an operating license and are not safe, according to the statistics of Inland Waterway Bureau in 2017.

Since the North does not have a domestic container terminal to handle container cargo at river ports, container cargo is mainly transported by road to industrial parks and export processing zones. Therefore, only about 15% of goods in Hai Phong port and about 35% of cargo transport by container in the Mekong Delta region are transported by inland waterways.

Over the past decade, investment in inland waterway infrastructure has almost completely come from ODA with very little direct budget allocation from the Government. No new infrastructure construction projects with ODA or Government capital have been implemented recently.

Meanwhile, the World Bank warned that many ministries participating in management made Vietnam's inland waterway transportation more difficult to develop. This overlap is reflected in the competition issues of traffic flow management, water supply and drainage, irrigation, fishing and aquaculture, recreational tourism ... Even Vietnam Inland Waterway Association Nam also statistics over 100km of rivers with 13 control stations of all kinds, hindering the development of water transport.


 
APL STARTS REEFER SHIPMENTS FROM CENTRAL VIETNAM
Monday, 08 April 2019 09:46

 

The APL Chu Lai Express (CHX) service will depart today, Monday for China with the first reefer shipment of bananas from the Chu Lai Tam Hiep Port in Vietnam’s central province of Quang Nam.

 

This marks the beginning of more reefer shipments from the port as Truong Hai Automobile Joint-Stock company (THACO) recently inaugurated a new cold storage facility and further develops its logistics infrastructure in the Chu Lai Open Economic Zone.

APL started its Chu Lai service in March 2018.   “The service is dedicated to serving Chu Lai’s emerging industrial zones in Quang Nam and her neighbouring Central Coast and Central Highlands provinces. APL’s CHX service has been growing as part of the business ecosystem that enables Vietnamese exporters and importers to gain immediate access to South China and Hong Kong where cargoes are relayed worldwide,” said Arnaud Coudray, APL cco

The weekly CHX service calls the ports of Chu Lai, Hong Kong and Shekou in China.  From the latter two transhipment hubs, shippers get connected to more Intra-Asia markets such as Japan, Korea and Singapore; as well as farther destinations such as North America, the Middle East and Europe among others via APL’s service network.

Among APL's reefer solutions include SMARTcare+, an atmospheric regulating technology that preserves the quality of perishable cargoes over time and distance. Meanwhile, APL’s SMARTcool eradicates pests without the need for fumigation. The cold treatment solution ensures fresh produce arrive in their finest conditions and meet stringent quarantine requirements at destinations.

 
CẦN THƠ SEEKING LOGISTICS CENTRES FOR AIR TRANSPORTATION
Thursday, 04 April 2019 01:57

Can Tho needs to develop logistics centres to meet increasing demand for the transportation of goods by international and domestic airlines. Four businesses have put forward proposals to develop such centres in cooperation with the city.

Vo Thanh Thong, chairman of the People’s Committee of Can Tho City, made the statement at a meeting with the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT)’s delegation on March 21 in Can Tho.

Logistics services for the transport of goods by air are very important for Can Tho and the Mekong Delta region, Thong said, because agricultural products, especially farming and fishery products, must be fresh if they are to be sold at high prices. Therefore, besides preservation, the moment of transport for those products is very important.

At present, Can Tho International Airport is connected with Ha Noi, Đa Nang, Phu Quoc and Con Đao. In 2019, the airport will be connected through five new domestic routes to Hai Phong, Thanh Hoa, Vinh, Đa Lat and Nha Trang and two international routes to Bangkok (Thailand) and Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia).

Can Tho expects to exploit these routes for both transporting passengers and cargo, Thong said. Therefore, demand for logistics services is high, especially demand for the transport of fresh agricultural products.

Municipal authorities are in the process of studying the four investors that have made proposals to choose suitable partners, Thong said.

He said the projects need support from the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Ministry of Transport to ensure efficiency, especially in terms of selecting partners.

At the meeting, minister of industry and trade Tran Tuan Anh said the ministry would continue to discuss more details about the development of air logistics centres with Can Tho’s authorities.

He said now the MoIT is in the process of talking with a Japanese partner about the development of a food processing centre in the Mekong Delta region. Under the project, an air logistics centre will be developed to serve the food processing centre.

The minister also asked Can Tho to pay more attention to attracting enterprises, especially from South Korea and Japan. The MoIT would cooperate with Can Tho to develop a plan on approaching the locality for both local and foreign enterprises.

In addition, the ministry wants to introduce to Can Tho some domestic businesses in promoting those projects such as Vietjet Air and SHB, he said.

This is a bridge connecting the businesses with the locality in developing those projects and creating value chains relating to market development in Can Tho and the Mekong Delta region.

In August 2018, Can Tho City People’s Committee and Vietnam Airlines Corporation (Vietnam Airlines) signed an agreement to develop the Can Tho Air Logistics Centre on an area of about 27 hectares next to Can Tho airport.

 

 
DRY BULK MARKET: CAPSIZE INDEX ON THE MEND
Wednesday, 03 April 2019 02:48

 

Capesize

The Baltic Capesize market shrugged off its recent negative sentiment to post daily incremental improvements over the last week. Pacific-led gains were seen early in the week. As the market drew to a close on Friday, higher Atlantic rates were being traded. Demand from all the major miners saw West Australia/China rates lift above $5.00 last week, rising to the mid-$5.00s mid-week, and over $6.00s as the week closed out. Timecharter rates rose sharply, with the Baltic Capesize Index (BCI) route C10 finishing at $8,117. A well-described 180,000-tonner fixed in the mid $10,000s. East Australian coal shipments too lent support. Transatlantic rounds traded mid $4,000s early in the week, rising to mid $6,000s as the week closed out. A well described modern Capesize, spot Gibraltar, fixed a Colombian round at $9,000. There is cautious optimism for the new week, but Brazil cargo has remained in short supply, with no end in sight to Vale’s woes. There was some limited cargo booked from Itagaui to Qingdao at $12.00 for prompt dates.

 

Panamax

A relatively uneventful week finished with a positive outlook. It began slowly, with rates everywhere except South America coming under pressure. Surplus tonnage in the North Atlantic coupled with dwindling fresh enquiry in the Pacific continued this week. Prompt tonnage seeking to remain in the Atlantic was forced to face Arrival Pilot Station (APS) rates, mainly from North Coast South America.

Kamsarmaxes were fixed at $11,500 with no ballast bonus, but vessels willing to do trips to the East were able to fix from an active South American market. Rates rose slightly, with modern tonnage fixed in the upper $14,000s plus high $400,000s ballast bonus. Rates in the North Pacific dropped initially before recovering some ground later in the week, but mainly for the better described units, with tonnage fixing North Pacific rounds at approximately $9,500. With a change in tone on the paper market, charterers began to ask for period tonnage again, however, there were few trades evident.

 

Supramax

It was a flat week for the Baltic Supramax Index (BSI) with little movement. Period activity remained limited, but an Ultramax, open Japan, was fixed at $12,500 for six to eight months trading. The Atlantic market remained static, with limited fresh enquiry from the East Mediterranean-Continent areas. East Coast South America appeared more active, with better levels achieved. A 58,000dwt vessel fixed delivery for an Up River trip to the Arabian Gulf at $14,000 plus $400,000 ballast bonus. The US Gulf was finely balanced, with a 52,000-tonner fixing in the mid $10,000s for a trip with petcoke to the Mediterranean. Demand remained strong in Asia, however, tonnage availability was high, so as the week ended, rates eased. A 56,000dwt ship fixed delivery for a Singapore trip via Indonesia, redelivery China, at $10,000. Further north, an Ultramax fixed a North Pacific round, delivery Japan, in the $10,000s. The Indian Ocean saw activity, with a 57,000dwt vessel fixed delivery Damman for a trip to Kosichang at $10,750.

 

Handysize

Rates climbed again in both basins in the past week and the Baltic Handysize Index (BHSI) was well supported. It is now above 430, improving over 100 points since mid-February. On the period front, a 38,000dwt ship, delivery in Southwest Pass with prompt date, was booked for four to six months at $10,300, with redelivery in the Atlantic. A similar-sized vessel, also open in the US Gulf region, was booked for a grain trip to Morocco at $9,850. A 30,000-tonner was fixed for scrap cargo to the East Mediterranean at $8,000, delivery Tampa. From East Coast South America, a trip to the Mediterranean was reportedly concluded in the high $9,000s on a 32,000dwt vessel, and in the mid $8,000s for a coastal trip on a 28,000dwt vessel. A couple of fixtures were concluded in the $4,000s for a run from Iskenderun/Canakkale to E

gypt. In the East, the Pacific market remained firm in general, with improved numbers discussed and fixed. A small Handysize vessel was paid $7,500 basis Indonesia delivery for moving alumina, via Australia, to Singapore-Japan range. A 38,000dwt ship open CJK was fixed at a rate in the low $9,000s for redelivery in Southeast Asia.
 
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