Rotterdam seeks new port of call in Vietnam

April 05, 2011 | 08:53
“While we are developing a strong marine economy, cooperating with the world’s leading port developers will be very important for us”
illustration photo

The European Union’s largest port is looking to berth in Vietnam. Roger Clasquin, director of Port of Rotterdam International, in a visit to Vietnam last week said the firm was looking for port development joint ventures.

Port of Rotterdam is the globe’s fourth largest port and also an important waterway to the European Union. The port received 33,352 seagoing vessels and 110,000 barges last year – handling 430 million tonnes of throughput cargo.

Clasquin said Port of Rotterdam would also cooperate with Vietnam’s port authorities in sharing market intelligence.

Kees Weststrate, senior project manager from Port of Rotterdam International, said the cooperation between the port developer and Vietnam’s port authorities could improve ports’ service quality and set  direct routes from Vietnam to Rotterdam, which would help reduce logistics costs for European nations.

“There are very few vessels transporting cargo directly from Vietnam to Port of Rotterdam. We don’t know exactly how many tonnes of Vietnamese cargo are handled by our port each year because most of them transit in Singapore or Hong Kong,” he said.

Vietnam’s rapid economic growth is pressuring its port infrastructure. Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai said the average volume of cargo at ports had risen 25 per cent in recent years, while most of the important ports faced severe congestion.

“While we are developing a strong maritime economy, cooperating with the world’s leading port developers like Port of Rotterdam will be very important for us. We need to learn experiences, opportunities and market intelligence,” said Hai.

Vietnam is now developing a series of new ports nationwide to ease the current congestion, especially in north and south. Some international port developers like APM Terminals, SSA Marine, PSA Marine and Hutchison Port Holdings are investing into port projects in Vietnam.

“There are many investment opportunities for Port of Rotterdam in Vietnam. The developer could join hands with local partners to build terminals in Haiphong, Danang, the Van Phong international transshipment port and Cai Mep-Thi Vai port complex in Ba Ria-Vung Tau,” said Le Tuan Anh, director of International Cooperation Department under Vietnam Maritime Administration.

By Nhu Ngoc

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