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|The new route will connect South Korea with Hong Kong, China, Thailand and Vietnam. Photo: Tan Cang Cat Lai Seaport|
On May 24, Incheon Seaport Corporation announced that it has begun operating a new container route from Incheon port to ports in Thailand and Vietnam.
Notably, the latest route, called New Korea Thailand, starts at Incheon Port, traversing a number of ports in Korea, Hong Kong, and China before reaching Laem Chabang and Bangkok Ports in Thailand and ending at Tan Cang Cat Lai Port in southern Vietnam.
Ships on the new route will have three shipping containers with the capacity of 1,500-1,600 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) with the frequency of one route per week. These vessels belong to Korea Shipping Co. Ltd., Chun Kyung Shipping Co., Ltd, and Namsung Shipping Co., Ltd.
Incheon Shipping Corporation expects that the shipping route will contribute to promoting the import-export activities between South Korea and Southeast Asia.
Previously, in August 2016, the central province of Quang Nam launched the first Chu Lai-Korea sea route, connecting Tam Hiep Port and Incheon Port in Korea.
Notably, Tam Hiep Port in the Chu Lai-Truong Hai logistics and port service centre helps to connect Chu Lai Open Economic Zone and Incheon Port. The port allows access for 20,000-DWT (deadweight tonnage) cargo ships or ships with a capacity of 1,000 TEUs, receiving one ship per week.
The Vietnam-Korea Free Trade Agreement (VKFTA) impacted bilateral trade and investment ties since it was signed and took effect in 2015. Korea is now Vietnam’s second-largest trade partner after China.
According to Business Korea, South Korean companies' exports to and investments in Vietnam are continuing to increase. The country has been Vietnam's third-largest export destination behind China and the United States since 2017. In 2020, the export turnover from Korea to Vietnam reached $48.51 billion. Last year, 3,324 and 2,233 South Korean companies were doing business in Vietnam and China, respectively.