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Restarting container vessel route to Can Tho Port after Quan Chanh Bo Channel cleared – Unleashing Mekong Delta logistics potential

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On the morning of December 29, at Tan Cang Cai Cui Terminal in Can Tho City’s Cai Rang District, Saigon Newport Corporation (SNP) and Vietnam National Shipping Lines (VIMC) successfully organized the “Welcoming Ceremony of Tan Cang Foundation Mother Vessel to Ports of Can Tho.” The restart of this service route aims to connect goods transport in the Southwest – Central – North, providing a full-service logistics solution for domestic and foreign businesses after the Quan Chanh Bo canal is cleared, creating the new driving force for economic development in the Mekong Delta.

The event captured the attention of leaders of State agencies, with the attendance of Mr. Dao Van Tien, Standing Deputy Secretary of the Party Committee of the Ministry of Transport; Mr. Tran Viet Truong, Chairman of the Can Tho City People’s Committee, and leaders and representatives of agencies and departments in Can Tho City. Representatives of the two service operators were Mr. Phung Ngoc Minh, Deputy General Director of SNP; Mr. Le Quang Trung, Deputy General Director of VIMC; representatives of Tan Cang Shipping and VIMC Shipping, and functional departments of the two units and a large number of domestic, import-export enterprises, FWD customers and representatives of some shipping lines.

Speaking at the ceremony, Mr. Tran Viet Truong, Chairman of the Can Tho City People’s Committee, highly appreciated the significance of the event for showing the determination, pioneering, and responsibility of SNP and VIMC – two large state-owned enterprises in the field of port operation, shipping, and logistics services to accompany Can Tho City in clearing the flow of goods, promoting the potentials and natural advantages of the Mekong Delta as the largest agricultural and aquatic product center in the country. The arterial waterway system through Quan Chanh Bo canal for ships of large tonnage to enter and exit the Hau River becomes an attraction for more investors to develop the economy for Can Tho City in particular and the Mekong Delta region in general.

Can Tho has been identified with its role and position as a gateway city, an economic center of the Mekong Delta region, and an essential focal point in regional and international transportation. Therefore, the restart of the domestic container ship route to the Can Tho Port cluster after the Quan Chanh Bo Canal was cleared has created a package logistics service solution, saving time and optimizing transportation costs for businesses in the area, promoting the potential of green transportation going directly from Can Tho port cluster to connecting ports in the Southeast, Central and Northern regions. Thereby, it develops access to goods going to the Mekong Sub-region.

With the combination of all available reliable resources between the SNP and VIMC ecosystems and the advantages of geographical location and economic potential of the Mekong Delta, the Can Tho port cluster (Tan Cang Cai Cui Terminal & Cai Cui Terminal) is expected to develop into a container “market” and a regional logistics center. Thereby it attracts domestic and foreign fleets to establish container shipping services directly from the Mekong Delta ports and enhances the hopes for Can Tho City to become a consolidating place. It also creates a solution to connect the logistics chain from the ports in the Mekong Delta region to the port cluster in Ho Chi Minh and Cai Mep area to boost Inner-Asia exports via the direct route. The solution saves time and up to 40% of transportation costs for import-export customers in the region.

The shipping route connecting to the Can Tho port cluster has been exploited with the cooperation between Tan Cang Shipping Joint Stock Company (Tan Cang Shipping) and VIMC Shipping Company (VIMC shipping). The vessel departed at Tan Cang 128 Terminal (Hai Phong) on ​​December 24, 2022, and arrived at Tan Cang Cai Cui Terminal on December 29, 2022, handling 174 TEUs of imported and exported goods. In the 2023 plan, SNP and VIMC will each put one ship into operation, with a frequency of every two weeks in the first phase and can be increased gradually to meet customer needs. The rotation is as follows: Hai Phong – Ho Chi Minh – Can Tho – Ha Tinh (Vung Ang Port) – Hai Phong, or Hai Phong – Ho Chi Minh – Can Tho – Hai Phong. With the design of a flexible route to Vung Ang Port, goods in the Mekong Delta can be transported directly to Ha Tinh and Laos markets, helping to optimize customer costs and time compared to existing methods. Tan Cang Shipping is proud to be the only domestic shipping line providing this service.

To contribute to maintaining the service line and achieving the goals, it is necessary to cooperate with all levels of government, localities, and relevant agencies in creating conditions and encouraging local businesses and enterprises to use services at Tan Cang Cai Cui Terminal as well as Can Tho port cluster, including the services of inspection, screening, irradiation, etc. The Ministry of Transport and Vietnam Maritime Administration regularly maintain stable conditions for large tonnage container ships to enter the main navigation channels of the region.

Speaking at the ceremony, Can Tho leaders also emphasized that they will accelerate the dredging of the Dinh An channel to create a two-way navigation route for ships to run, eliminating the congestion caused by the one-way channel for vessels.

The restart of the Can Tho domestic container ship route from Hai Phong/Ha Tinh to the Mekong Delta/Can Tho port cluster is a prominent mark for inter-regional connectivity, creating a premise for the direct connection of the Mekong Delta with the port cluster Cai Mep deep water and services for Inner Asia international ships, connecting goods from Can Tho International Airport in the future, promoting the Mekong Delta economy with the whole country and internationally, developing the Mekong Delta as the regional logistics center. Currently, SNP has synchronously developed both container transport routes by ships, and barges alongside roads for the transport of goods at crucial locations, helping businesses to be convenient in import and export goods circulation; contributing to socio-economic development, strengthening security and national defense in localities.

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