Use trains to clear China border truck pileup: customs

By Anh Tu   December 28, 2021 | 05:33 am PT
Use trains to clear China border truck pileup: customs
Drivers check fruits quality in Lang Son Province on December 17, 2021 due to delay in customs clearance as China tightens Covid-19 measures. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh
Vietnamese customs officials have proposed railways be used to transport goods to China amid the pileup of container trucks at the border as the latter tightened Covid-19 measures.

With over 2,100 trucks remaining stuck at the border, the pileup situation – which has lasted the last several weeks – won’t be resolved before Tet, Vietnam’s Lunar New Year, which falls in February next year, said Nguyen Huu Vuong, deputy head of Lang Son Customs at a meeting Monday.

As only 78-90 trucks are cleared each day, by Tet only 1,000 trucks would be cleared, he said, adding China will continue to impose tight border restrictions until March 15.

He proposed the Ministry of Finance and Vietnam Customs encourage businesses to use trains, not trucks, to transport their goods, as this reduces the risks of contagion because a small group of staff can operate the whole train.

He called for the Vietnamese government to conduct a higher level meeting with its China counterpart to ease restrictions as low level meetings have not proven effective.

Another northern province, Quang Ninh, still had 1,555 trucks piled up as of last weekend.

The pileup of container trucks at the Vietnam-China border happens regularly but insiders said this year it is the most severe with up to 6,000 trucks stuck in Vietnam at some points.

Exporters could lose VND3-4 trillion ($131-175 million) because the pileup ruined their agriculture produce, Vietnam Fruit Association estimates.

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