Last week, Cai Mep -
Thi Vai International Port Zone in Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province
consecutively made two remarkable events in international marine trading
activities: receiving a 73.000 DWT vessel and launching a direct
shipping line between Vietnam and USA. With those two events, the port
zone officially affirms its role in local and regional marine
tightness of Ho Chi Minh city
Loading 53 foot containers at deepwater SP-PSA terminal.
Photo: Cao Thang
About five years
ago, the sea port system for not only Ho Chi Minh city but also for
Southern economic focal region and some provinces of MeKong river Delta,
which was located in the city inner, initially faced many difficulties.
Port operation site
became narrow in comparison with the requirements of economic
development in the region and inter-port road system and main-line
railway were also overloaded.
Especially, Long Tau
navigation channel leading to the sea port system in Ho Chi Minh city
was just 8.5m in depth unable to meet the transportation of goods by
large tonnage vessels any longer.
circumstance, the Government, Ministry of Transport and local
authorities were forced to review and re-calculate the operation
organization of the local sea ports.
Many surveys had
been conducted and the section of Cai Mep - Thi Vai river with
significantly deep navigation channel (the deepest location reaches over
40m and most shadow one of 10m) was selected to take the role of main
goods terminal for the region in lieu of the sea port system in Ho Chi
Mr. Tran Tan Phuc,
General Director of Portcoast, the consultant for the development plant
of sea port group in the territories of Ho Chi Minh city, Ba Ria - Vung
Tau and Dong Nai Provinces, explained for that decision “In addition to
the advantage of navigation, Cai Mep - Thi Vai area also is a “spacious,
thinly populated” place, facilitating site clearance of the construction
projects. But the most important fact is that Cai Mep - Thi Vai area is
adjacent to the center of Southern focal economic zone. Goods can be
distributed easily from Cai Mep - Thi Vai area to other regional
The soundness of
such decision have been approved by what are occurring in reality such
as tens of big local and foreign investors constructing sea ports in
Last week, SP-PSA
international sea port, a joint venture between Vietnam National
Shipping Lines, Sai Gon Port and PSA Vietnam, a wholly-owned subsidiary
of Singapore's port operator PSA International was opened. Mr. Le Cong
Minh, General Director of Sai Gon port informed that front water depth
reached 14m and although the navigation had not been dredged, it was
accessible to 60,000 DWT – 80,000 DWT vessels with the help of tides.
This was an ideal depth for shipping activities, as a result, it was not
by chance that after putting SP-PSA into operation, the ALP group, one
of the world leading container shippers established a direct shipping
route from SP-PSA port to USA. This route reduced the Vietnam - USA
transportation time from 17 days to 15 days.
Mr. Tran Doan Tho, Deputy Minister of Transport, judged it was a
significant event affecting to the economic development of the Southern
economic focal zone. At the same time, Tan Cang Cai Mep deepwater
container port received the vessel with tonnage of 73,000 DWT vessel
named MOL Premium of Mitsui O.S.K Lines (Japan), this is the largest
tonnage vessel ever arrived to the ports in Vietnam.
view for hundred years
When the direct
route from Vietnam to USA was launched, APL also applied 53 foot
containers in stead of traditional 20 and 40 foot containers in order to
reduce the freights to their clients. In the Asia, this container type
has been used only in Vietnam and China.
This application is
not remarkable but it shows that port system in Cai Mep - Thi Vai area
have been step by step approaching to the new means of sea transport of
It is seem
impossible for the port system in the inner of Ho Chi Minh city to apply
this large container type due to above mentioned difficulties,
especially overloaded roads.
In addition, Mr.
Tran Tan Phuc informed that, when the all navigation channel of Cai Mep
- Thi Vai zone was dredged to 14m, vessels with tonnage of 60.000 DWT -
80.000 DWT or even larger were accessible to the ports there without the
help of tide. Currently, Ministry of Transport is urgently dredging the
navigation channel for Cai Mep - Thi Vai zone in order to make that
outlook come true. If there is not any change, from now to the end of
2011, Cai Mep International Terminal (CMIT) owned by the Joint Venture
of Sai Gon Port, Vinalines and Maersk Group (Denmark), SSA- Sai Gon
International Container port invested by Sai Gon Port and SSA Group
(UAS) etc shall be inaugurated and put into operation in Cai Mep - Thi
throughput via ports in Ho Chi Minh city still increases, many economic
experts believe that there is a removal of import-export cargoes from
the ports in Ho Chi Minh city to those in Cai Mep - Thi Vai area.
Especially, when the traffic system in Ho Chi Minh city becomes more and
more overloaded, this trend shall be accelerated.
Of course, there are
many things to be completed to make Cai Me - Thi Vai area becomes an
international sea port. They include construction a logistic center,
connection traffic systems etc. Regarding to this matter, Mr. Tran Minh
Sanh, Chairman of Ba Ria - Vung Tau Province People’s Committee
committed that “provincial authorities shall create the most favorable
condition for the investors and focus all sources to implement”.
Ministry of Transport also has been very urgent in speeding up the
construction of bridge and road to Thi Vai - Cai Mep port zone and
dredging of the navigation channel. It is concluded that if there is not
any change, the port system in Cai Mep - Thi Vai area shall become a
central sea port system of the Southern economic focal zone of Vietnam
and of the region.
By Nguyễn Khoa
(Translated by Portcoast)
Development plan of port group in Ho Chi Minh city, Ba Ria -
Vung Tau and Dong Nai Provinces
affirms that Vietnam will develop a deepwater sea port
system in Cai Mep - Thi Vai area accessible to 80,000DWT
vessels. Ho Chi Minh city will develop port system capable
of accommodating 50,000DWT vessels due to difficulties of
space and navigation channel.
the demands on import and export in Ho Chi Minh city
increased remarkably, People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh city
actively recommended and was approved by Ministry of
Transport and many concerned ministries and sectors to
construct deepwater sea ports in Ho Chi Minh city (Hiep
Phuoc zone) allowable to the vessels with tonnage of more
than 50,000DWT. This plan has been executed with the
dredging of Soai Rap channel and construction of many
deepwater ports in Hiep Phuoc zone.