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VN exporters hit by container shortage

There is a serious shortage of empty containers for exports from Việt Nam, Phan Minh Thông, general director of agriculture products exporter Phúc Sinh Joint Stock Company, said.

Besides, international shippers were hiking their fees, and Vietnamese businesses would struggle to cope if the problem is not addressed, he added.

Nguyễn Đình Tùng, chairman and general director of fruit exporter Vina T&T Group, said  there was a lack of containers for shipping dry goods while the cost of shipping goods to the US had increased by nearly three times from last year.

Đặng Phúc Nguyên, general secretary of the Việt Nam Fruit and Vegetable Association, explained lack of containers by saying exports were booming at the end of the year and Việt Nam had been seeing big export surpluses through the year.

Ship crews had to be in quarantined after reaching foreign ports due to the pandemic, which exacerbates the container shortage, he said.

Lê Kim Cương, deputy director of Sài Gon New Port Logistics, said the recent storms that hit the country were making it difficult to transport empty containers from foreign countries back to Việt Nam.

HCM City, Đồng Nai and Bình Dương’s ability to receive empty containers from deep-water ports and transfer them to inland container ports was limited, he added.

Phan Văn Có, marketing director at VRICE Limited Co., said businesses were incurring more expenses since their goods have to be stored longer at ports as they wait for containers.

The Việt Nam Logistics Association said depots should be tasked with repairing empty containers to reduce the waiting time for them, and ships should work closer with depots and accurately notify their empty containers situation.

Consignors needed to make use of containers efficiently and quickly so that they could be used by others, it said.

Rewards and penalties for quick and tardy returns of empty containers should also be considered, it added. – VNS

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