mai hien

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 Many ports have outdated facilities and low mechanization or poor maintenance, poor domestic connectivity.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.