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Thousands of container trucks stranded near China border

By Ngoc Thanh, Pham Chieu   December 17, 2021 | 06:30 pm PT
Thousands of container trucks have been stuck at Vietnam’s border gates with China in the northern province of Lang Son due to technical difficulties and tightened Covid-19 measures.
Thousands of container trucks stranded near China border

Hundreds of trucks are seen queuing on Thursday morning to enter Tan Thanh Bus Station as they prepare to cross into China.

Thousands of container trucks stranded near China border

Local data shows 4,550 trucks were queuing as of Thursday morning.

The delay in clearance is due to Chinese authorities having tightened Covid-19 safety measures. They also reported technical difficulties in their network system, said Hoang Khanh Duy, deputy head of Dong Dang Economic Zone in Lang Son.

Delays in clearance in other localities, including Quang Ninh and Cao Bang, and stoppage in Lao Cai, force most trucks to pour into Lang Son, he said.

“We are trying our best to negotiate with Chinese authorities to increase clearance speed.”

Thousands of container trucks stranded near China border

Many trucks have been stuck for 10 days and drivers are unable to leave the area.

Thousands of container trucks stranded near China border

Driver Nguyen Van Toi, with 10 years of experience driving long distance, said the clearance delay happens every year but that this year it is especially long.

He has to open the container to check on the dragon fruit since if the quality is not up to par, buyers in China would not accept them.

Thousands of container trucks stranded near China border

Nguyen Van Sang has been driving a truck with 22 tons of jackfruit for the last 17 days.

“Jackfruit must be preserved at 10 degrees Celsius during transportation. I am checking them to see if they are rotten.”

Thousands of container trucks stranded near China border

A truck driver seeks advice from his employer after 45 tons of mango turned yellow.

Thousands of container trucks stranded near China border

Many stranded drivers have been forced to cook their own meals on the spot.

These two drivers from the central province of Binh Dinh are cooking some vegetables found along the roadside.

Thousands of container trucks stranded near China border

Dung in the southern province of Dong Thap is cooking a partially rotten gourd with a dry fish.

He has not taken a bath in 10 days.

“There is much valuable goods in the truck so I cannot leave.”

Thousands of container trucks stranded near China border

Some drivers order food from locals priced at VND50,000 ($2.18) a portion.

Thousands of container trucks stranded near China border

Drivers share meals with each other.

Thousands of container trucks stranded near China border

Driver Nguyen Ngoc Minh rests on a hammock as he waits for his truck to be fixed.

Lang Son authorities on Dec. 14 had a phone discussion with Chinese authorities to propose solutions to clear the goods, especially for agriculture produce.

Chinese customs authorities told officials of Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development earlier Covid-19 checks on goods are necessary procedures.

 
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