Ministry seeks to save largest port from overload caused by Covid restrictions

By Anh Minh   August 4, 2021 | 09:31 pm PT
Ministry seeks to save largest port from overload caused by Covid restrictions
Cat Lai Terminal in Ho Chi Minh City in April 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade has proposed urgent measures to ease the burden in Vietnam’s largest port, Cat Lai, which has become overloaded due to Covid-19 restrictions

Containers have piled up almost to full capacity at the port in Ho Chi Minh City, and the ministry wants the Ministry of Transport to move empty ones to other locations and stop the transfer of containers from other city ports.

Consignees could pick up their goods at other terminals and need to reduce the frequency and volume of shipments through Cat Lai for the time being, it said.

Cat Lai could move containers lying with it for over 90 days to other ports in the city and in neighboring provinces like Dong Nai and Binh Duong, it said.

The biggest and most modern terminal in Vietnam has become overloaded since many factories in the south have been forced to shut down due to Covid.

Over weeks of social distancing the number of trucks coming to pick up cargo decreased sharply, leading to the pileup.

The port also faces a severe shortage of employees like port officers and forklift drivers, with their number halving to 250.

Businesses have been complaining that instead of receiving 13-14 containers a day they get only five to seven due to the transport delays.

Nguyen Duy Minh, general secretary of the Vietnam Logistics Association, said many companies are keen to know if Cat Lai would receive their goods and if not where they need to be rerouted.

The port has stopped accepting certain cargoes until August 16.

It handled nearly 100 million tons of goods last year.

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