HCMC – As many as 2,874 containers, including 2,029 containers of scrap, getting stuck at the Cat Lai Port in HCMC for more than 90 days has affected the customs clearance process there over the year-end period, according to the HCMC Customs Department.
A representative of the Saigon Port Border Customs Sub-department Region I said that assessment, classification, price evaluation and auction activities at the port have become time-consuming due to the backlog of containers.
Besides this, the prolonged handling of backlogs has restricted the port’s operations and caused regular congestion, especially during holidays. Furthermore, the backlogs led to the severe shortfall of shipping containers, prompting shipping lines to increase transport costs.
Some logistics firms said they had to spend more on cargo transport and loading activities due to the container backlogs. The shortage of empty shipping containers has led container rentals to surge, spelling trouble for companies in various fields.
A company which imported an average of 500-700 containers per month last year said that it had incurred higher costs due to surging sea transport fees and container rentals. There was a time when shipping fees for goods transported from China soared tenfold and those from the United States rose threefold. Such costs had to be added to product prices, the firm’s representative added.
To cope with the backlog of containers during the year-end period, Tran Viet Thang, head of the Saigon Port Border Customs Sub-department Region I, said the sub-department had proposed that the General Department of Vietnam Customs give directions to address obstacles facing shipping lines in tackling the backlogs and quickly return the cleared site so the port can operate at its normal levels of efficiency.