The new potentialities of Tan Cang - Cai Mep deep-sea terminal (09/7/2009)


The deployment of the new direct service of hanjin shipping at tan cang - cai mep and the new opportunities for the exporters of the south.


Nowadays, the globalization and regional integration has become the common tendency all over the world. In the transportation field, thanks to the capability of carrying big volume of cargo on a world large scale connectivity with the low cost, shipping has been considered as an important link in the bilateral and multilateral co-operation. The facilities of the sea port is a key in the shipping chain. Beside the handling work, the sea ports also carry out trans-shipment and logistics activities to create the added value for a large region. Vietnam is located in the centre of the South East Asia and neighbored on the China keeping an important position on the Transpacific maritime channel, but due to the lack of the deep-sea ports, the Vietnamese import -export cargoes had to be trans-shipped at the other regional trans-shipment hub. This led to a paradox that containers from Vietnam had to travel around ports of Hong Kong and Singapore e.t.c and then re-cross the Vietnamese territorial waters before being transported to the ports in the USA or Europe. In the situation of the economic recession, all the enterprises aim at cutting down the operation cost. Therefore the launching of the deep sea terminal operation at Cai Mep was an important milestone not only for the terminal operators or the shipping lines, but also an encouraging news for the importers, exporters of the Southern provinces.
June 2009 has made a landmark in the history of the port operation in Vietnam when the two deep-sea terminals Tan Cang- Cai Mep and SP-PSA in Thi Vai Cai Mep were operational. The shipping lines can deploy their direct services from Vietnam to the USA or European countries. The new services along with the deep-sea terminals will be the strong stimulation for the export and helps to consolidate the Vietnamese cargo in the world market.


During the progress of the growth and development to become the leading terminal operator in Vietnam, Saigon Newport company has learned precious lessons in term of the investment strategy and development. One of them is the right plan of development and effective investment. The development of Tan Cang- Cat Lai container terminal and Tan Cang- Cai Mep deep-sea terminal is the typical example. In 1996 when the traffic jams and the environmental pollution was not a hot issue in Ho Chi Minh city, Saigon Newport foresaw the problems and started the plan to move the terminal operation from the city downtown to Cat Lai area. The market share of Cat Lai terminal now has made up more than 78% of the market share of the import-export containers of Ho Chi Minh city area. Especially, in the situation of the global economic recession and the decrease of the import-export volume, the container throughput of Cat Lai terminal in the first 6 months of 2009 has increased stably. The container volume of Cat Lai terminal in June 2009 had a year-on-year increase of 31.5% .
Looking back to the past, 2004 was the time when the other terminals in Ho Chi Minh city being puzzled in choosing the place and the financial source for the terminal investment, Saigon Newport already completed the facilities of Cat Lai terminal and moves the operation activities from Tan Cang to Cat Lai and started the Tan Cang- Cai Mep project to meet the increasing demand of the shipping lines to deploy the bigger container vessels as well as to comply with the Government major plan for the development of the seaport system and the southern focal economic area.
Located at Tan Phuoc commune, Tan Thanh District, Ba Ria -Vung Tau Province, Tan Cang- Cai Mep belonging to Saigon Newport Company has the scope of 60 hectares of CY and the berth length of 900 meters which is capable to accommodate the vessel of up to 80,000 DWT. The whole terminal phase 1 and 2 will be equipped with 10 Post -Panamax quayside gantry cranes with the lifting capacity of 65 tons, 40 RTGs 6 1 with the lifting capacity of 40 tons and the height of 5 stacking, the world standard terminal operation and management systems.

In June 2009, Tan Cang- Cai Mep phase 1 which has 300 meters of berth length, 20 hectares of CY and the draft at berth of 15.8 meters started its operation and became the first deep-sea terminal receiving the biggest container vessel ever called at a terminal in Vietnam. After more than one month operational, Tan Cang- Cai Mep has made the good arrangement of vessel receipt and dispatch and operated efficiently. Mitsui O.S.K lines and the customers highly appreciates the service quality of Tan Cang- Cai Mep and its professionalism. The operation of tan Cang- Cai Mep deep-sea port has brought the benefits not only for the domestic exporters but also for the Cambodian exporters. The outbound containers transported from Cambodia to Tan Cang- Cai Mep by barging every Monday to be loaded on the mother vessel on Thursday. It take two days for container barging from Phnom-penh to Cai Mep. The average volume of the Cambodian outbound container trans-shipped at tan Cang- Cai Mep is 100 TEUs/voyage. Such volume shall be increased when more shipping lines deploys the mother vessels to Tan Cang- Cai Mep. A lot of shipping lines shall use the deep sea terminals in Vietnam as the trans-shipment hub for the region. They have plans to trans-ship containers from Indonesia, Philippines, Thai Land and India at Cai Mep.

After the APL (Singapore) and MOL (Japan) of the New World Alliance (including APL, MOL and Hyundai Merchant Marine) has deployed the direct services namely PSX and PS1 to the U.S west coast. Hanjin shipping and the carriers of CHYK alliance (Cosco, Hanjin, Yangming and Kline) also speed up their arrangement to deploy the mother vessel to Tan Cang- Cai Mep deep-sea terminal. On July 7th 2009, the celebration of welcoming the maiden voyage of the vessel HANJIN COLOMBO V.0102E –the first vessel of the direct service between southern Vietnam and the Pacific Southwest Region of the United States (the SJX service) was organized solemnly at Tan Cang- Cai Mep. Hanjin will operate 6 vessels having the capacity of 4,000 to 4,3000 TEUs in this service. The service rotation will be Port Klang (Malaysia) – Singapore – Cai Mep (Vietnam) –Yantian (China) – Tokyo- Osaka- Long Beach ( USA)–Oakland ( USA). This service will keep the arrival at Tan Cang Cai Mep on Tuesday and the departure from Tan Cang- Cai Mep every Wednesday. Cargos exported from Vietnam can go faster and efficiently to USWC within 16 days. At the second stage, Hanjin will consider to implement new services between Cai Mep and other Asia countries and European countries. As per the calculation of the shipping lines, the trans-shipment of an export container from Cambodia in Vietnam instead of Singapore or Hong Kong shall be one week faster and save the cost USD 200 to USD 300. In the coming time, a considerable amount of the containers of the regional countries shall be trans-shipped at the deep-sea port of Vietnam. For the Vietnamese exporters, the direct transportation to the USA shall help to reduce the supply chain and minimize the risk.

Tan Cang- Cai Mep deep-sea terminal is attracting more and more shipping lines and customers to the terminal thanks to the modern and world standard handling equipment and the terminal management and operation system, the professional and dedicated staff. Tan Cang- Cai Mep has purchased the software system of RBS (Australia) namely TOPX and the associated hardware and the wireless connectivity network which ensures the management of the container movement, equipment and vehicle in the real time. The system allows the shipping lines/ agents and customers to exchange the information with the terminal by E.D.I (electronic direct interchange) and in the future the terminal system will interface with the customs system aiming at the carrying out the customs formalities electronically.

In the present, more than 90% of the import-export containers transported between Tan Cang- Cai Mep and Ho Chi Minh city by barging. Saigon Newport has a barging fleet of 15 units with the total capacity of over 750 TEUs and a good connectivity system with Tan Cang terminal, Cat Lai terminal , ICDs in Ho Chi Minh city, Song Than ICD in Bin Duong and Long Bin ICD in Bien Hoe city with the modern facilities to create a perfect logistics network to serve the delivery and receipt of the cargo in Ho Chi Minh city, Dong Nay and Bin Duong provinces. Tan Cang - Cai Mep has become the reliable destination for the shipping lines, consignees and shippers.

Saigon Newport company is also promptly continuing the construction of phase 2 including 590metres of berth and 40 hectares of CY so that the joint venture of Saigon Newport, Hanjin Shipping, Mitsui O.S.K Lines and Wanhai Lines will be able to start the operation of Tan Cang- Cai Mep - phase II in the early of 2011. The company shall complete the construction of 50metres of berth at Tan Cang- Cai Mep in the end of August and another 35 meters in November so as to extend the berth length to 385 meters in November 2009.