Import-export firms suffer losses to retain customers

By Thi Ha   April 7, 2022 | 07:10 pm PT
Import-export firms suffer losses to retain customers
Container truck seen at HCMC's Cat Lai Port. Photo by VnExpress/Thanh Nguyen
Many import-export companies say they are struggling to break even as they accept high transportation costs in order to remain competitive and retain customers.

The representative of a HCMC-based import-export company said at a conference Thursday that it was facing challenges caused by the pandemic and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

Skyrocketing gasoline prices have increased transportation and logistics costs, making Vietnamese goods less competitive. Therefore, the company was accepting losses in order to keep the relationships with its customers going.

Johnathan Hanh Nguyen, chairman of the Imex Pan Pacific Group, said they had to go slow on imports because of the "shocking" rise of shipping fees.

He said that the costs of air transport from Asia to the US have risen ten-fold since 2019 to $17-18 a kilogram per year, while that of ocean shipping had increased five times.

"It is nearly impossible to make profits from importing and exporting goods because the high transport costs eat them up. But businesses still have to keep going to keep their customers."

Nguyen said global oil prices were yet to stabilize and companies will continue taking hits. Therefore, authorities should support firms in overcoming current challenges.

He said customs authorities should further simplify procedures and make them transparent. They should also install an electronic information exchange system between firms and related agencies.

Dao Duy Tam, deputy head of the Customs Control and Supervision Department under Vietnam Customs, said digitalization and administrative reform will cut cross-border clearance time and costs for businesses.

The Customs Department of HCMC identified three solutions to cope with current challenges: processing procedures 24/7; having separate cargo lanes and loading areas; and building an online monitoring system for customs clearance.

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