CMA CGM Marco Polo Makes Record Visit to Vietnam

CMA CGM Marco Polo

By The Maritime Executive 01-22-2019 08:41:55

Vietnam welcomed the 390-meter (1,280-foot), 16,020 TEU CMA CGM Marco Polo at the Cai Mep International Terminal (CMIT) for the first time earlier this month.

CMIT sees 2019 as another year of double digit growth in container volume. It is a deep sea container terminal and market leader for global ocean carriers serving the South Vietnamese economy. The terminal can handle container vessels up to 194,000dwt and has a 14-meter (46-foot) channel and a minimum depth of 16.5 meters (54 feet) alongside the 600-meter (1,969-foot) quay. The terminal has a 1.115 million TEU total capacity and five Super Post-Panamax (22+1 row outreach) cranes. It is a joint venture between APM Terminals, Vinalines and Saigon Port which started operations in Cai Mep in 2011.  

“We are confident that Vietnam will develop into a key international maritime and logistics hub in the coming years,” said Bruno Gutton, General Director of CMA CGM Vietnam.

The shift that started from China to move production of labor-intensive products years ago will further accelerate in 2019, said Serkan Kavas in a blog for More Than Shipping late last year. “Especially labor-intensive products, such as textiles, apparels, footwear, and furniture, are the first industries that will leave China.

“To prevent this, many factories in China are moving further inland as Western China continues to offer cheaper labor compared to China’s coastal cities. However, being further inland means more expensive freight rates and longer transit times, as barges must be used along with other means of transportation to connect coastal cities for mother vessel departures. 

“Vietnam may be the biggest winner of this switch, along with other countries, such as Indonesia and Thailand, as they have better infrastructure, such as deep sea ports which can now accept larger vessels. I observed that many Chinese companies are already positioning themselves in countries like Vietnam, and Indonesia is setting up factories in order not to miss out on this production shift.”