December 16, 2019 17:32

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Bright future for shipping industry

10:03 | 14/11/2019

VCN- According to the evaluation of the Vietnam Maritime Administration, the shipping industry has maintained good growth and the volume of goods through seaports by Vietnamese fleets has reached more than 81 million tons, up 16% compared to the same period in 2018. It is forecasted that in the coming years, the annual growth of cargo through seaports will be 12 -16%. It is expected that the volume of goods in 2030 willreach 1.5-2 times higher than the present.  

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In June 2019, Vietnam's fleet has 1,568 ships with a total capacity of about 4.8 million GT, a total tonnage of about 7.8 million DWT. Photo: Internet

"Bright spot" about the fleet

Mr. Nguyen Dinh Viet, Deputy Director of the Vietnam Maritime Administration, said that in the first six months of 2019, cargo through Vietnam's seaportswas estimated at 308.8 million tons, up 13% over the same period in 2018. In particular, the volume of container cargo through the seaport in 2019 reached 9.1 million TEUs, an increase of 3% over the same period last year. The volume of cargo through the port handled by Vietnam's fleet reached more than 81 million tons, up 16% over the same period in 2018. In particular, the volume of container cargo through the port of the Vietnamese fleet reached 1.2 million TEUs, an increase of 5% over the same period last year. Notably, the fleet carrying the Vietnamese national flag has now been able to handle nearly 100% of inland freight by sea, except for some specialized vessels such as LPG, bulk cement, etc. The goods are transported inlandare household goods, food, coal, construction materials, machinery, containers, petroleum, general goods.

For international shipping, currently transporting about 7% market share and mainly transporting in routes such as China, Japan, Korea and Southeast Asia. The Vietnamese container fleet operates mainly on short routes in Southeast Asia and Northeast Asia, with some bulk carriers transporting goods on European routes.

Regarding shipping, in June 2019, Vietnam's fleet has 1,568 ships with a total capacity of about 4.8 million GT, a total tonnage of about 7.8 million DWT. The average age of Vietnamese fleet is 15.6 years, 5.2 years younger than the world’saverage age (20.8 years old). The structure of Vietnamese fleet is also developing towards specialization. In particular, Vietnam's container fleet has grown quite well, from 19ships in 2013 to 39 ships in 2019. According to statistics fromthe United Nations Trade and Development Forum (UNCTAD), Vietnam's fleet of ships is fourth inthe ASEAN region and thirtieth in the world.

Achieving this result, Mr. Nguyen Dinh Viet said that the Vietnamese fleet has improved significantly, the fleet has developed in the direction of specialization to meet the demand for domestic transport.

Worrying about human resources

Assessing the potential of Vietnam's shipping development in the near future, Mr. Le Cong Minh, Chairman of the Vietnam Seaport Association said, first of all the geographical location, we have the potential of 3,200km in length and one million km2 of sea can be use as ports and many other potentials such as: deep estuaries, sheltered bays and international trade routes. As we know, when building a port, if we do not have to build abreakwater, it will savehalf theinvestment cost. Therefore, when building deep-water ports, foreign investors found that potential, they invested little and could exploit the ships.

According to Mr. Le Cong Minh, behind us there are Laos and Cambodia with no way to the sea. We have built a port for the whole region, this is our advantage. Our ports are also located in relatively good locations, connecting the northern region with the south. In addition, we have a market of 100 million people, 400-500 million tons of goods; GDP growth is about 6.7% per year, which is equivalent to growth of 15% of goods in the port area. That is the condition for our port development as well as our shipping.

Regarding difficultiesinhuman resources is one of the worries of the maritime industry as the demand for human resources for the maritime industry is forecast to increase in the near future, but due to many other reasons, many crew members don’t want to follow the profession. There are about 40,000 crew members currently withcertificates of professional competence, the number of Vietnamese crewmen is still meeting the needs. However, through the Vietnam Maritime Administration's crew management database, in the period of 2018 - 2019, there are about 22,000 crew members registered to work on the ship, which means that up to 43% of crew members are not in the profession.

Meanwhile, every year there are from 400 to 500 crew members out of working age. From 2011 to 2018, the training scale for the seafaring industry has decreased by more than three times, especially as many graduates who have been trained in the maritime profession do not work in the maritime profession.

Overcoming this problem, the Vietnam Maritime Administration has proposed to amend the Labor Code in the direction of treating people working in the maritime industry as specific workers, applying a number of appropriate regimes for apprenticeship age; on the signing of labor contracts, working time, wages, allowances, labor safety and sanitation for specific jobs in the maritime field. This is the most important rule, if this regulation is applied in the Labor Code, it will be the original law, adjusted to all other legal documents related to seafarers.

By Tuan Phong/Quynh Lan