Worker depleted HCMC port faces disruption as containers pile up

By Anh Minh   July 29, 2021 | 06:08 pm PT
Worker depleted HCMC port faces disruption as containers pile up
The Cat Lai Terminal in HCMC, April 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
The number of containers stockpiled at HCMC’s Cat Lai Terminal is nearing its full capacity, and with its direct staff halved, the port’s operations could be disrupted soon.

Saigon New Port Corporation, which runs the Cat Lai Terminal, said that after nearly three weeks of social distancing, the number of trucks going to the terminal to receive containers has decreased sharply, leading to the pile up of containers.

This, in turn, has meant that materials and products are stuck at the terminal, forcing some factories to narrow production or cease operations.

The corporation also said that if containers stockpiled at the Cat Lai Terminal are not moved quickly, it may have to temporarily stop receiving container vessels and wait for goods clearance as some ports in the U.S. and Europe were forced to do last year.

The terminal is also facing a severe shortage of employees like port officers and forklift drivers. The number of such employees has decreased by 50 percent to 250.

The stay-at-work mode applied to loading and unloading workers at the terminal has not been very effective because the port has little vacant space , and many activities take place outdoors in a scattered way.

The corporation has therefore proposed that the city also allows it to use more workers at the terminal or permit its workers to go to work even after 6 p.m. The city has currently banned people from going out between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.

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