The Saigon Newport Corporation held a seminar entitled “Ensuring goods transition through the port” on August 10 to update those in attendance on the operations of southern ports and support policies for customers during social distancing due to Covid-19.

Goods and containers from shipping lines such as SITC and RCL and other domestic and foreign firms have been stuck in Cat Lai Port for some time. A representative from the Shanghai Sofia International Trading Company, which is involved in banana cultivation and exports from Vietnam and elsewhere to China, said it was unable to fulfil its export target of 180-200 containers a week due to Covid-19. “The pandemic has had a negative impact on the company,” the representative told the gathering. “Many shipping lines have canceled port calls or changed shipping schedules, affecting the company’s production plans.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Truong Tan Loc, Marketing Director of Saigon Newport, released a survey from the company showing that up to 79.5 per cent of businesses have been affected by the pandemic, with 13 per cent of factories being closed and 66.5 per cent reducing capacity or ceasing production. Some 360 vessels are waiting for berths at ports around the world, and 110 ports are in a state of alert over congestion problems.

Moreover, due to changes in the ICD (Inland Container Depot), the transportation distance is longer, pushing up costs. Therefore, not only import-export businesses but also ship owners have proposed that Saigon Newport adopt a support policy for customers to overcome this difficult period. Mr. Bui Van Quy, Executive Vice President, said the situation at Cat Lai has now returned to normal thanks to urgent action from management agencies and shipping lines actively adjusting schedules. Additionally, Saigon Newport issued Notice No. 2551/TB-TCg on August 5, effective from August 7, on solutions for these issues. Firstly, speed up the release of imported containers from the port. Secondly, increase the capacity of cargo storage in the port and outside the port. Thirdly, reduce the amount of imported goods that need a long storage period. Fourthly, coordinate with authorities to create favorable conditions for businesses and promote online procedures.

Saigon Newport has also prepared plans for a worsening situation, and will deploy long-term measures to ensure smooth operations.