The HCM City - Ca Mau waterway will be upgraded to accommodate 2,000-tonne container barges under a project to improve transport from HCM City to Ca Mau via Can Tho, which has been submitted to the Ministry of Transport for approval.

The Traffic Development and Strategy Institute said the upgrading would help reduce the load of road traffic from HCM City to the southernmost province of Ca Mau.

Total cargo is expected to reach 93.5 million tonnes by 2020, a year-on-year rise of 7.7 percent in the 2016-20 period.

Of that amount, transport by road accounts for 25.3 million tonnes (27.1 percent); inland waterway, 62.3 million tonnes (66.83 percent); and river and sea 5.67 million tonnes (6.07 percent).

The institute said the country should issue incentives and favourable policies on land, taxes and interest rates for enterprises, including ship owners, shippers, and sea transport-service providers, to build or upgrade container ports and other facilities at ports.

According to the institute, the country also needs to call for the private sector to invest in building or upgrading ports and seaports as well as storage facilities in Tien Giang, Can Tho, An Giang, Kien Giang, Ca Mau and HCM City.

Urgent work includes the upgrade of the waterway from HCM City to Ca Mau for container barges of more than 2,000 tonnes, an upgrade of Xa No Canal and coastal routes running through Dai Ngai – Bac Lieu – Gia Rai.

Large-scale river ports also need upgrading in order to upload containers at storage centres to collect and ship cargo. Ports include Binh Long Port (An Giang), An Phuoc Port (Vinh Long), Long Binh Port (HCM City). A new cargo port should be built inland in Cai Lay in Tien Giang Province, the institute recommended.

Shipping facilities for carrying containers are also needed. Improvement of facilities to upload containers on inland waterway should also be carried out, the institute said.

The second phase of the project would upgrade the Cho Gao canal, and dredge and widen the flow of canal to 80 metres for container barges of more than 2,000.

The institute said the country should soon put into operation transport routes such as Binh Thuan – Kien Giang and link with ports in HCM City, Tien Giang, Can Tho and Ca Mau. Vessels of 1,000 DWT could be received and then later vessels of 2,000 and 4,000 DWT.

The institute also urged the completion of the project Quan Chanh Bo that would receive vessels of 10,000 DWT and 20,000 DWT.

As for roads, the country would need to improve the capacity of road traffic to transport and collect cargo, and transport goods to inland river ports in Can Tho, An Giang, Ca Mau, An Giang, Ca Mau and Kien Giang.-VNA