Surging expenses burden transport companies amid shortage of registration centers

By Doan Loan   March 9, 2023 | 05:00 pm PT
Surging expenses burden transport companies amid shortage of registration centers
An official examines a truck at a registration center in Cau Giay District, Hanoi on Mar. 1, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy
Transport companies are complaining of surging costs incurred by a prolonged time for registering their new or modified vehicles due to a shortage of registration centers.

Since early January, Tung Bach Logistics in Hanoi has been struggling to get its 50 trucks registered with the authorities after repair or maintenance as the dwindling number of registration centers in the city are overloaded with customers.

CEO Nguyen Van Linh said that he had to appoint 10 staff take care of this long and tedious process. They often have to arrive at a registration center the night before and sleep in the truck to get ahead in the queue for the next morning.

If authorities find some changes to the vehicle that they consider unsafe, the driver will have to take the truck to a garage and have that problem fixed, and then take it back to the center for another inspection. It usually takes four days or more to complete the whole process.

For every week a truck can’t be used for delivery, Tung Bach suffers a revenue loss of up to VND30 million, while it still has to pay for other expenses.

Linh still has 10 trucks with a deadline for registration approaching in March. The declining number of registration centers in Hanoi forced him to consider other options.

"We might have to drive our vehicles to Quang Ninh or Lang Son to register, and it will not be a small fuel expense," he said, adding that the more vehicles a company has the more trouble it is facing now.

The number of auto registration centers in Vietnam began to drop following a national crackdown on such centers across the country for allegedly taking bribes.

As of March 7, only 62 out of 281 registration centers nationwide were operating, a ratio of 22%. Fifty-four centers have been closed due to violations.

Hanoi has seen 24 of its 31 registration centers closed for investigation purposes and now only seven are operating. Together they can examine over 11,000 vehicles a month, while by March up to 75,680 vehicles in the city are set to reach their registration deadline.

This means the capital city can only meet 20% of the demand for vehicle registrations. This explains why the operating centers are facing such long lines of vehicles.

Bui Van Long, CEO of Vitranimex transport firm, has nearly 100 container trucks and normal trucks that need to be registered and re-registered this month.

If they are not allowed to resume operation in time, his company is set to lose hundreds of millions of dong, with many export and import contracts having to be delayed and their customers might have to pay fines, he said.

"If the registration process remains difficult in the upcoming months, we will have to raise prices to compensate for the hike in expenses," said Long.

Nguyen Van Quyen, chairman of the Vietnam Automobile Transportation Association said that many transport companies are struggling to register their vehicles and that government agencies need to come up with solutions to solve the problem and ensure cargo delivery is unblocked.

Long proposed that the registration deadline be delayed by one or two months.

Deputy Prime Minister Tran Hong Ha on Wednesday said that registration officials from other centers outside of Hanoi should be mobilized to help the city speed up the work.

Vietnam Register, the agency that oversees the registration process, has advised Hanoi vehicle owners to register their vehicles at nearby localities to reduce the overload.

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