Statistics from 2016 show that general and container ports in Cai Mep-Thi Vai area handled about 40.9 million tons of cargo reaching 45 percent of design capacity. Container goods reached 2.03 million TEU, increasing 50 percent compared to the same period last year but accounting for only 30 percent of their capacity.
In HCMC, Cat Lai container terminal has increasingly been overloaded and caused badly traffic jam while other container ports have operated at only 5-21 percent of their capacity. Macro solutions regulating cargo volume among seaports in the group has been short so goods has mainly streamed to HCMC. Cargo services and seaport connectivity has been asynchronous.
The Ministry of Transport has said it would not license new container ports in the group but it would speed up seaport removal, intensify connectivity, develop logistics service, improve polices and better administrative reform from now until 2020.
According to reports by Vietnam Marine Administration, seaports in Group 5 play the leading role in six groups nationwide, handling about 45 percent of cargo volume and 60 percent of containers through Vietnamese seaport system annually.
For the last past, the Government and ministries have paid attention to investing in infrastructure structure for the group. However seaport development process has raised some problems affecting investment and exploitation efficiency.
The Ministry of Transport has established a project to improve the efficiency of seaports in Group 5 and wharfs in Cai Mep-Thi Vai area. The project has been approved by the Prime Minister.
Afterwards the ministry has instructed relevant sides to review and adjust the detail plan for the southeastern seaports by 2020 with visions till 2030. The plan adjustment is towards slowing down the progress of building new seaports in the group and focusing on expanding general and container ports to maximize the capacity of existing seaports.
Since 2013, HCMC, Ba Ria-Vung Tau and Dong Nai People’s Committees have worked with the Ministry of Transport to not build new seaports; expand container and general ports to share pressure for overloaded seaports.
The ministry has drastically required relevant sides to remove wharfs from the Saigon river and Ba Son shipyard.
In addition, the project has implemented solutions about seaport connectivity intensification, service price policies and administrative reform and gained positive changes.