mai hien


CONTAINER FREIGHT RATES SLUMP 4.2% IN APRIL
Monday, 13 May 2019 07:28

Container freight rates fell 4.2% in April to their lowest level since June last according XSI Public Indices published by Xeneta.

The indices based on crowd-sourced data covering 160,000 port-to-port pairings fell back sharply last month having reported container rate rises of 2.5% in February and 0.5% in March.

The indices stand at 104.45 points at the end of April, the lowest level since June last year.

The rate falls were across the board with European imports fell by 4.8%, while exports declined by 1.9%; for Asia the import benchmark dropped by 2.1% while exports slumped 3.6%; and for the US the export benchmark fell by 2%, while the import index dropped by 3.4%.

“The reasons for the decline are complex, but certainly overcapacity on the European trades (with Ocean Alliance increasing activity and new slots for a standalone HMM service) and continued fall out from the US-China trade war (where shippers initially front loaded cargoes to avoid additional cost) have added to longer term structural issues and political/economic uncertainty,” commented Xeneta ceo Patrik Berglund.

“In short, suppliers have benefited from a market in flux due to trade wars, IMO, socio-economical factors, like Brexit, and now the situation is turning. As always, uncertain waters may lie ahead for the contract market.”

Berglund said the outlook remains uncertain, “Geopolitics remain stubbornly unpredictable, with on-going uncertainty over US-China relations, while no one – not even the people at the very top – appear to have a clear view of what is happening regarding Brexit and its consequences.”

 
MEKONG DELTA NEEDS TO DEVELOP LOGISTICS TO CUT EXPORT COSTS: CONFERENCE
Friday, 10 May 2019 01:34

 

Developing logistics is an urgent requirement to develop the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta’s economy, a conference on improving its agriculture and aquaculture value chains heard in Can Tho City on Tuesday.

Nguyen Minh Toai, director of the city’s Department of Industry and Trade, told the conference that the delta, as a paddy and aquaculture hub of the country, accounted for 40 per cent of the country’s agriculture.

Over 50 per cent of the rice supply and 90 per cent of exports are from there as are 65 per cent and 70 per cent of the aquaculture and fruit production, he said.

The demand for transporting these products, some 17-18 million tonnes of them a year, is huge.

But 70 per cent of it is transported to ports in places like HCM City and Ba Ria- Vung Tau for export, increasing costs by 10-40 per cent, the conference heard.

There is thus enormous potential to develop logistic centres in the area and attract investors to the sector, experts said.

Toai said: “Developing logistics in Can Tho is an urgent requirement to develop the regional economy.”

Ho Thi Thu Hoa, head of the Viet Nam Logistics Research and Development Institute, said Can Tho City and provinces in the delta should make strong efforts to develop the logistics sector.

A national plan for logistics development by 2015 included two logistic centres in the region but they remain on paper, she said.

No logistics, higher costs

Companies blamed the logistic inadequacy in the region for pushing up costs.

Chu Van An, permanent deputy general director of Minh Phu Seafood Corporation, said every year his company exports 7,000 containers of shrimp worth US$850 million.

It takes 30 hours to reach HCM City by river and so his company uses road transport for it, he said.

“It costs VNĐ11 million ($520) to transport a container from Ca Mau to HCM City and VNĐ7 million ($300) from Hau Giang to HCM City. For 7,000 containers a year, we have to pay VNĐ60 billion.”

If the infrastructure sector is developed, companies can directly export from the delta and cut 30-40 per cent of their costs and become more competitive, he said.

Le Duy Hiep, chairman of the Viet Nam Logistics Business Association, told the conference that the delta is the country’s agricultural export hub but logistics cost them 20-25 per cent compared to 10-15 per cent in neighbouring countries.

But he warned that setting up a logistics system in the region would be highly challenging.

 
VIET NAM TO HAVE FIRST HELICOPTER RIDE-HAILING SERVICE
Monday, 06 May 2019 04:23

Vietnamese ride-hailing firm FastGo on Thursday announced its plan to launch the country’s first helicopter ride-hailing service - FastSky - in Ha Noi by the end of this month.

FastGo said it has co-operated with a prestigious helicopter firm in Viet Nam, which declined to be named. This co-branding project will provide customers with a helicopter ride-hailing service through an app, and will also aim to promote tourism in northern provinces.

FastGo said FastSky services will include SkyTour, which will offer sightseeing tours of 12, 25 or 40 minutes from Ha Noi to Hạ Long Bay, and other tours.

In addition, it will provide SkySOS in which helicopters will land on skyscrapers in Ha Noi to pick up patients in emergencies. Customers will also enjoy SkyWedding services that provide wedding photography at Hạ Long Bay and Tuan Chau Island.

Private tours for tourism, exploration and work will also be offered by SkyPlus services in the allowable air space.

A representative from the helicopter provider said tourism and transport services by helicopter had become a trend around the world.

“In Viet Nam, with our 30 years of experience in operating and providing safe and effective helicopter services, we are capable of providing world-class helicopter services to the Vietnamese market. The co-operation with FastGo will help customers manage their flight schedule and make payments,” he said.

Nguyen Huu Tuat, founder of FastGo, said their new services aim to promote Viet Nam’s tourism to local and foreign visitors. FastSky sevices will bring premium services in the most convenient and simple way, while customers will have more choices for transport demand and other needs.

FastSky allows customers to book flights and make payments in advance by bank card. In addition, customers can pay by credit card by installment for periods of three months, six months or one year at zero interest rate, supported by the VIMO Viet Nam Joint Stock Company.

FastGo and the helicopter company are completing final procedures to prepare for the launch of the service.

FastGo, a subsidiary of Vietnamese technology start-up NextTech Group, began operation in June last year.

It expanded its operation to Myanmar last December and plans to launch operations in Singapore this month and in five other countries in the region by the end of this year.

With some 60,000 drivers, the company is the second most popular ride-hailing firm in Viet Nam after Grab.

 
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