Viet Nam’s maritime transport sector was forecast to recover this year as the global economy showed optimistic signs and there was a move to speed up exports, the Viet Nam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines) said.
Vinalines’ prediction showed the global demand for marine transport, especially for freight and container shipping services, would increase this year.
Vinalines’ general director Nguyen Canh Viet said the global maritime shipping market would boom this year as demand from China, the US and the EU would continue to increase thanks to the recovery of the global economy.
However, marine shipping charges would not increase dramatically as the global market would see an expansion of fleets, Viet said.
The global demand for sea transport services of liquid commodities, such as oil and finished oil products, would also increase in volume as North American and East European nations raised their imports.
Vietnamese businesses operating in this field might face more difficulties in the domestic liquid transport market, as the Dung Quat Oil Refinery was put into operation, and would be able to satisfy up to 30 per cent of the domestic demand for petrol and oil products.
New policies from the International Maritime Organization specified that vessels older than 20 years or owned only single cover would not be allowed to operate on international lines. As a result, the Vietnamese fleet would likely focus on freight and container transport in the global market as its capacity in the liquid cargo field was quite poor, Viet said.
However, Vinalines predicted its domestic operation would grow well as demand for import of machinery, equipment and materials had been increasing.
The reason, the corporation said, was the country’s export and import revenues were projected at the high target of US$ 78 billion and $ 92 billion, respectively (an increase of 10 per cent and 11 per cent in comparison with last year), while the devaluation of Vietnamese dong had helped bring advantages for exports.
Recovery of the domestic economy would also boost foreign direct investment project disbursement, which in turn would help speed up imports of machinery, materials and equipment for those projects.
To gain advantages over the competition, the corporation recommended that Vietnamese fleets be upgraded and restructured while enhancing investment in advanced container, oil and groceries vessels.
The sector should also sharpen its competitive edges with the aim of focusing on transporting cargo for exports. The sea transport sector should co-operate with domestic exporters in order to help bolster export shipping.
They should also build up brand names in the regional and global shipping markets.
Escaping from huge losses in 2009, the sea transport sector saw an optimistic sign last year as many domestic giant sea shipping companies, such as Vosco, Vitranschart, Vinaship and Nosco, had received good returns and were able to purchase more advanced and larger vessels.
Viet said that his corporation’s subsidiaries and affiliates all developed well last year when the total revenues reached VND22 trillion ($ 1.12 billion), earnings after tax was VND1.25 trillion ($ 65 million), with a huge revenue from sea transport services.