Container stevedoring service costs should increase: Insiders hinh anh 1Vietnam’s container stevedoring service cost is much lower than that of other regional countries (Photo: VNA).

Hanoi (VNA) –
Seaport enterprises have proposed raising stevedoring service costs by 10 percent in 2021 and 2022, saying it is necessary for them to reinvest in infrastructure and improve service quality.

At a videoconference held by the Vietnam Maritime Administration on August 4, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Ship Agents and Brokers Association Pham Quoc Long said that the stevedoring service fees at Vietnam’s deep-water ports only account for 45-80 percent of the charge at large ports in China’s Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia or China.

“It is even cheaper than that at Phnom Penh river port, which is not heavily invested in,” he stated.

In fact, cargo passing through Vietnamese ports maintained good growth while foreign ports witnessed a contraction.

Increasing container stevedoring service fees will not inflate logistics and transport costs, Long said, explaining the fees paid for shipping companies is rather high, at 120 USD per TEU. However, the amount to the pocket of port businesses is only 33 USD at Dinh Vu port, 52 USD at Cai Mep port, and 41 USD at Ho Chi Minh City port.

“As ship owners benefit from 55-80 USD per TEU, depending on different ports, they can earn around 1 billion USD per year with the current cost level,” he said.

Secretary of the Vietnam Shipowners’ Association Bui Van Trung highlighted stevedoring service costs must be rational, and equal to those at ports in regional countries, saying Vietnamese transporters are using revenue from port services to compensate for losses in their transportation work.

According to Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Van Cong, port services in Vietnam have increased but they are still behind those in regional ports, particularly Cambodia.

“Adjustments to the costs must be made, ensuring that the fees at Vietnamese ports are on par with those in the region, and at least equal to Cambodia. The Vietnam Maritime Administration should study businesses’ proposals to form the best price frame to assure sufficient money for firms to reinvest and upgrade their infrastructure,” Cong said.

Earlier, the transport ministry asked the Vietnam Maritime Administration to draft an amended circular to Circular No.54/2018, detailing several issues such as phased increase in container stevedoring service fees, amendments to maritime piloting, pier, buoy and tugging service fees and present to the Minister in September.

Mai Phuong Hong, a representative from the Ministry of Finance’s Price Management Department, said that competent sides need to work out price adjustments’ impact on businesses’ operation and the consumer price index (CPI) to harmonise enterprises’ benefit and the Government’s target to curb annual inflation, particularly in the context of the complex developments of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cargo passing through Vietnamese ports rose by 6 percent in the first seven months of the year, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Deputy Director General of the Vietnam Maritime Administration Hoang Hong Giang said the total volume of cargo handled at Vietnamese seaports surpassed 397.5 million tonnes since the beginning of 2020. 

Of this, the volume of container goods handled at seaports reached over 11.8 million TEU, marking a year-on-year rise of 8 percent. 

In July alone, the figure was nearly 57.8 million tonnes, up 1 percent, including 1.68 million TEU of container goods, up 2 percent from the same period last year. 

Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, several seaports still posted double-digit growth in the first half of this year, such as Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Nam Dinh, Can Tho, Thanh Hoa and Thai Binh, ranging from 20 – 72 percent. 

Others saw a significant growth in container goods such as My Tho up 354 percent; Thanh Hoa 115 percent; An Giang 85 percent and Da Nang, 11 percent./.