Transport costs for North-South route soar after rail bridge collapse

By Vietnam Plus, Nhung Bui   April 1, 2016 | 04:29 pm GMT+7

The collapse of the Ghenh Bridge that shut down the North-South railway has left businesses struggling with a surge in transport costs.

The bridge collapsed on March 20 after being struck by a barge, severing the crucial North-South railway line between Saigon Station in Ho Chi Minh City and Song Than Station in neighboring Dong Nai Province.

transport-costs-for-north-south-route-soar-after-rail-bridge-collapse

The Ghenh bridge. Ohoto: Phuoc Tuan

A representative from Kim Thanh Phat Transport said the company had to use Ho Nai station, located 30 kilometers away from the company’s usual loading site at Song Than, increasing their costs by about 40 percent. Complicating matters further, the roads leading to Ho Nai are narrow and gridlocked due to the surge of trucks travelling between the two stations.

In addition to the burden on transport firms, manufacturers and goods distributors are also at risk of missing deadlines with their customers. Le Tien Dung from An Trung Phong Company said they were unable to deliver about 500 tons of cargo to their partners on time.

“After the Ghenh bridge incident, my company’s transport fees shot up by 100 percent,” Dung said. “We could lose hundreds of millions of dong a month if this situation continues.”

Head of Song Than Station, Tran Thi Cu, said the Ghenh bridge collapse was the biggest incident in the history of the national railway industry, costing the station about VND8.15 billion (362,200 USD) per week on average.

Chairman of Vietnam Railways Tran Ngoc Thanh said 50 passenger carriages and another 100 for cargo transportation are still stranded at Saigon Station at a time when two holiday long weekends were approaching. He has proposed to the Ministry of Transport that those carriages be transferred to other stations in preparation for the peak travel periods this month.

The Ghenh bridge is expected to be back in service no sooner than mid-July.