The Vietnam Maritime Administration (Vinamarine) is considering opening two more coastal shipping routes with the first linking the south-central province of Binh Thuan and Kien Giang in the Mekong Delta, and the other from Quang Binh to Da Nang city on the central coast, the Saigon Times Daily reported.

The new routes will meet the rising demand for cargo transport between these places as overland transport has become overloaded.

According to Vinamarine, the need for goods transport to and from the Mekong Delta is increasing rapidly and is estimated at around 51.5 million tonnes a year. In the immediate future, 2.1 million tonnes of construction materials will be transported from Ba Ria-Vung Tau province to the Mekong Delta for a project to dredge a navigational channel leading to the Hau River and other supporting works.

Vinh Tan Power Center and its supporting works in Binh Thuan province also require large quantities of construction materials and equipment that should be transported by water.

Therefore, the shipping route is essential to ease pressure on roads.

Meanwhile, the new sea route linking ports between Quang Binh and Da Nang is also being considered by Vinamarine. Enterprises based in Da Nang city need to ship over 400,000 tonnes of cargo such as fertilizer, clinker, timber, oil and steel a year, according to a recent survey conducted by the administration.

These cargo loads are currently taken overland from Quang Ninh, Hai Phong, and Thanh Hoa to Quang Tri, Hue and Da Nang and vice versa.

Therefore, once completed, the new waterways would help transfer cargo between these localities.

On July 6, the Ministry of Transport opened a new sea route linking provinces from Quang Ninh to Quang Binh with around 50,000 tonnes of goods transported during its first month of operation.

Compared to the costs of transport by road, the coastal shipping route is much more competitive, prompting enterprises to choose the latter.

For instance, the freight for a 20-feet container transported overland is 10-12 million VND from Hai Phong to Thanh Hoa and is 18-20 million VND from Nghe An to Ha Tinh while the figures shrunk to 2.4 million VND and 3-3.2 million VND respectively if goods is transported by sea.

However, road transport is faster, taking six hours to send goods from Hai Phong to Thanh Hoa while it takes ten hours to transport goods over the same distance by sea.-VNA