Cutting costs crucial to survival of maritime transport hinh anh 1Shipping companies are urged to cut costs and improve efficiency to overcome the difficult time caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo ndh.vn)

Hanoi (VNS/VNA) - Cutting costs is critical for the maritime transport sector, which is seeing a slowing down in activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a report by the Vietnam Maritime Administration, the transport of passengers and goods via seaports during the pandemic’s peak period saw a fall of 100 percent against the same period last year.

Only two international cruise ships arrived in March. Operators also announced the cancellation of all expected cruise ships carrying international passengers to ports in Nha Trang and Vung Tau in the second quarter of this year.

Cargo transportation also saw a considerable decline in the first quarter of this year, with the volume equivalent to just 91 percent of the same period in 2019. However, April saw an increase of four percent in the transported cargo volume.

Nguyen Xuan Sang, Director of the Vietnam Maritime Administration, predicted that maritime transport would continue to face difficulties until the end of this year due to drops in demand for goods in foreign countries and stagnation of production globally which caused falls in both imports and exports.

Maritime transport was seeing a slowdown, but it was time for logistics companies to increase cost savings to improve efficiency, Sang said.

The Vietnam Maritime Administration proposed to the Ministry of Transport to reduce some maritime fees for ships, including docking and mooring fees, and give a three-month extension of certificates for sailors.

From May 1, the towage and pilot services fees were cut by 10 percent for Vietnam’s ships operating domestically to the lowest regulated level to help firms overcome the difficult period.

Vietnam Ocean Shipping Joint Stock Company (Vosco), a leading shipping company in Vietnam, posted a loss of 86.4 billion VND (3.7 million USD) in the first quarter of this year, 40.7 billion VND higher than the same period of 2019.

Its revenue also dropped by 76.5 billion VND to 347.5 billion VND in the quarter.

Vosco’s Chairman Bui Viet Hoai said that shipping companies encountered a lot of difficulties in the first three months of this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hoai forecast that difficulties would continue in the second quarter as exports to the US and the EU remained stagnant./.
VNA