3 carriers to develop Vung Tau terminal
Three ocean carriers are partnering with the Vietnamese government to construct a container terminal in the upcoming Vung Tau deepwater port development south of Ho Chi Minh City.
Hanjin, MOL and Wan Hai on Wednesday announced the joint venture with the Saigon Newport Co., joining a long list of terminals to be developed at the burgeoning container port complex. All of the world’s major terminal operators — namely Hutchison Port Holdings, PSA International and COSCO Pacific — are developing container terminals at Vung Tau, hoping to tap into huge forecast growth for containerized cargo through southern Vietnam. As many as eight individual facilities are being built along an S-shaped channel, most scheduled for completion by 2011.
The Vung Tau terminals are about a two-hour drive south of Ho Chi Minh City and are expected to change the face of container shipping into Vietnam. Currently, river terminals near Ho Chi Minh City handle more than 70 percent of all container volume through Vietnam, but no terminal can handle any ship carrying more than 1,000 TEUs. While the Vung Tau terminals won’t be able to handle the very largest of containerships (8,000-TEU ships and larger), it will accommodate those carrying up to 6,000 to 7,000 TEUs, vastly expanding the country’s cargo handling capacity.
The Hanjin-MOL-Wan Hai-Saigon Newport terminal is slated to start operations in 2011 and have eventual annual capacity of 1.15 million TEUs.
“Considering the potential of the Vietnamese market, building a dedicated terminal in the region will allow us to ensure constant availability of berths for our vessels, upgrade customer service with reduced costs and improved schedules,” said G.S. Choi, executive vice president and chief executive of Hanjin Shipping’s terminal business unit. “In the long-run, we are confident that it will serve as a major hub port in Southwest Asia.'