Japan’s major shipping firms have started to boost their business in the Vietnamese market to raise their market share in the context that demand for consumption goods and auto spare parts to the Southeast Asian country has been increased.

According to the Nikkei newspaper, Mitsui OSK Lines has allowed ships on the Asia to Europe route to anchor at Cai Mep port of Vietnam’s southern coastal province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau.

The company will arrange for ten 6,500 TEU ships to dock at Cai Mep entrepot every week.

The move will help reduce time to transport goods from Vietnam to Rotterdam port in the Netherlands to 21 days, 3 days less than before, as well as cut down expenses for loading and storage.

The company is said to have a desire to turn Cai Mep port into an intermediary port on the route linking Asia and North America.

Meanwhile, Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK Lines) has cooperated with Vietnam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines) to develop a cargo transport service within the Southeast Asian region by using 1,000-TEU ships.

The two companies will put two small ships into operation to transport goods from north Vietnam to Thailand and Singapore, in anticipation of rising domestic demand for automobile spare parts imported from Thailand, which is predicted to increase by 20-30 percent.

NYK Lines also plans to launch a service from north Vietnam to Singapore and then Europe and North America.

Another company, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, is scheduled to set up a joint venture with a Vietnamese freight line in Hanoi and establish a representative office in Ho Chi Minh City this month.

Japan’s demand for maritime transport on the route linking Asia to Europe and North America is set to continue to rise by 5-10 percent. Southeast Asia is considered as the fastest growing market, with growth comparable to China. /.