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Don't be afraid of the "fragility" of the SUPPLY CHAIN…

Modified: 08/16/2021 Publish date: 08/16/2021

The unpredictable development of the COVID 19 pandemic in the South puts the enterprise community in a new predicament. Simultaneously, they also strive to ensure epidemic prevention and maintain production activities in accordance with the spirit of the Government's "dual goals" directive, while continuously receiving information that does not reflect reality, contributing to increasing confusion, trouble....

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The fragility of the supply chain…

I was invited to participate in the Saigon Newport Corporation (SNP) webinar "MAINTAINING SMOOTH CARGO FLOW THROUGH CONTAINER TERMINALS", which I personally believe is more like a dialogue with customers and government agencies, as well as with press and media agencies. I myself am fulfilled and recognized that the efforts of SNP were timely dialogue with the business community to provide a full picture of the "fragility" of the supply chain in Vietnam, which together consider and act rather than only receiving or spreading inaccurate and lacking in constructive spirit. Therefore, the seminar has received the attention of many shipping lines, import-export customers, logistics enterprises, etc. Because there are so many sources of real and mixed information, they need to listen to the SNP itself to speak to them correctly and fully understand the situation. This is a legitimate necessity.

There are three things in my remaining after attending "Webinar" is.

Firstly, I feel the responsibility of SNP for what I temporarily call "Import and Export Security" of the country. More broadly, the responsibility to ensure fragile supply chains are not disrupted. With full awareness of the importance of seaports for "import and export security," and simultaneously from afar, the critical consequences that the COVID 19 pandemic can have, not only for port, business, but also for the entire economy, if the scenario "catastrophic" happens, as has happened in some countries in the world. SNP has shown rapid and drastic measures in the prevention and ensure the smooth operation of ports despite many difficulties encountered when the other link in the supply chain is "sick" to go. It can be mentioned that the operation of production plants, domestic transport connected to the port, the ICDs behind the port... are having capacity problems due to the epidemic. I'm relieved, and many people also share this feeling when SNP declared "Port has returned to normal production rhythm." Of course, everyone understands that when everything is in a state of VUCA, that normality will be the result of constant efforts plus high vigilance in the past and in the future. 
Secondly, the enterprise community is satisfied and recognizes the support and burden of a port business. Although also greatly affected by the pandemic, the Port was determined not only to ensure its production activities, but also to ensure the operations of shipping lines and more than 30,000 import-export customers. Preferential policies for moving long-lived containers of temporarily suspended factories out of Tan Cang - Cat Lai terminal to reduce costs for enterprises and help enterprises "surviving" will survive. Enterprises that are "sick" will soon be healthy again.

Finally, we are also pleased to witness the participation and side of agencies including the Vietnam Maritime Administration, the General Department of Vietnam Customs... and port enterprises to come up with solutions. Remove short-term, create favorable conditions "unprecedented" to maintain the supply chain in Vietnam.

But definitely not "fragile" in faith...

From the tough lessons about serious consequences for the economy due to port congestion in countries all over the world, and most recently the incident port congestion Yantian (China) with 298 vessels, a total output of more than 3 million TEU has abandoned porting (in the period from June 1 to June 15), creating a huge amount of goods that have to be transferred, and many other negative effects, like exacerbating the shortage of containers, pushing freight rates further. If production in China is interrupted, manufacturers must find new sources of supply. Investment flows gradually shift to India and Southeast Asian countries. When India suffered the attack of the new strain of SARS-Cov-2, the flow of goods poured into Southeast Asian countries, including Vietnam. To learn that the supply chain was fragile, even more vulnerable than ever. If the supply chain is disrupted, the impact will be on the safety of the whole country, not just anyone.
"Don't use the difficulties of the whole system into your own opportunities." This is the time when it is necessary to join hands and contribute from all components of the transport chain to overcome difficulties, not when to take advantage of the difficulties of the whole system into opportunities for any particular organization. We need to be wary of unfounded, subjective and unconstructive information that goes against the rules of the market by coercion that is not based on the interests of the participants. If someone creates an image to the world about a Vietnam that is "fragile" in production or "chaotic" in goods circulation... then who will benefit? Certainly not Vietnamese businesses. Who has the capacity to prevent the shift of production and investment from Vietnam to other countries? Not just one organization, it must be the efforts of the whole country.
It should also be acknowledged that the stability of the supply chain in the Vietnamese market is only temporary, because there are too many destabilizing factors, like the re-emergence of the disease in many countries, the Global port congestion, insufficient empty containers, fluctuating freight rates, extreme weather... These are always factors waiting to break the supply chain at any time. We will strengthen our confidence if we gain the understanding of customers and shipping lines in adjusting transportation and forwarding plans to suit our production and business capacity when provinces and cities start to apply new plans to ensure production for enterprises in terms of epidemic prevention and control. With the sharing and burden of difficulties from shipping lines with their customers, from customers with ports and vice versa, as well as the companionship of the State management agencies, the prospect that no one wants will definitely be unlikely. I'm sure it is.

SNP in particular and other ports in the South have initially successfully implemented short-term measures to maintain the supply chain during the recent hot oil period. And I also believe in the long-term measures, the SNP frugal, because they have enough experience and ability to seek far, exhibit wide to perform successfully.

Definitely at all costs, we shake hands to declare war on the fragility of faith...


Writer: Hà Trương Vũ Lan