Vietnam is planning to upgrade its southern port system. Local media reports that Minister of Transport Dinh La Thang announced the move as being in line with the government’s master plan for 2020 and vision for 2030. The system that covers all the ports in Ho Chi Minh (HCM) City and neighboring Ba Ria-Vung Tau and Dong Nai provinces will be improved to reduce and eventually stop dependence on regional transit ports to ship Vietnamese commodities to overseas markets.
The port system is one of eight in Vietnam. It consists of 14 ports, including four in HCM City, five in Ba Ria-Vung Tau province, and five in Dong Nai province. Commodities transported through the system account for more than 60 per cent of the total load going through all ports of Vietnam.
HCM City port use will be reduced by upgrading Cai Mep-Thi Vai Port in Ba Ria-Vung Tau province. Currently, commodities are transported to old seaports in downtown HCM City because the organizational support is lacking in the other smaller ports.
Included in the initiative is a moratorium, until 2015, on issuing licenses for new container ports for the entire system including Cai Mep Thi Vai port.
Plans for 2015-2018 include increasing the volume of imported products coming through the port system, especially through Cai Mep Thi Vai Port, while limiting the number of foreign companies that can transport domestic goods to Cai Mep Thi Vai Port.
The ministry will cooperate with Japan's International Co-operation Agency to revamp the national seaport authority by giving it new responsibilities including an investment management function based on real market demand and the operational capacities of seaports. The authority will be allowed to collect import and export taxes due on cargo shipments to save companies time.
Under the plan, smaller ships or boats will be used to transport goods from HCM City to Cai Mep-Thi Vai to increase the volume of goods that the system handles. Longer term, road connections between HCM City and Cai Mep- Thi Vai will be improved and all port construction in HCM City stopped.
Investment into Ba Ria-Vung Tau, where the Cai Mep-Thi Vai Port is located, will be encouraged, and cooperation between the port authority with agencies on construction of inter-port roads, development of logistics centers and building more wharves in Mekong Delta provinces will be further boosted.