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Dredging key to fate of new Vietnam terminals, says APMT

Ho Chi Minh City: Successful dredging of access channels will be key to the planned opening of four new container terminals in the Cai Mep port area outside Ho Chi Minh City over the next three years, including Cai Mep International Terminal, CMIT cco Malcolm Gregory observed at the 4th Annual Vietnam Ports and Logistics Conference in Ho Chi Minh City.

"Growth in trade and corresponding container traffic at Southern Vietnam's gateway Ho Chi Minh City port complex is jumping, and in response there has been tremendous activity in terminal investment" said Gregory, noting that the 1.1 million TEU annual capacity Cai Mep International Terminal, part of the APM Terminals Global Port and Terminal Network, is scheduled to open in January 2011.

"Sufficient access channel depth will be one of the primary determining factors of which facilities cater to which segments of Vietnam's container trade" Gregory told the audience. Water depth of 14 meters is required for non- tide restricted access for vessels up to 8,000 TEU capacity which are expected to be entering the Vietnam trade.

A lack of modern road and rail infrastructure keep much of Vietnam's container transportation inland by barge service, which is projected to account for almost 50% of deep water terminal traffic in 2010, adding to capacity requirements, Gregory added.

"Long-haul Transpacific and Europe trades, representing nearly 30% of Ho Chi Minh City port traffic, will continue to migrate to the new deep-water terminals as newer, larger vessels come into service, so there is a very real need for capacity and capability expansion, but new project completion dates need to be aligned with expected market need" he said.

Container volume at the Ho Chi Minh City and Cai Mep ports, which handles approximately two out of every three TEUs in Vietnam, surged by 16% in the first half of 2010 leading to a full year 2010 estimated throughput of close to 4.2 million TEU.  [18/10/10]

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