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Building a waterway logistics corridor for the Mekong Delta

Clearing the waterways to logistics development for the Mekong Delta is one of the important tasks mentioned in the master plan on development of waterway infrastructure up to 2030 approved by the Prime Minister. In fact, in the two years since the COVID-19 epidemic occurred, waterways have become “green channels” for transporting goods, effectively supporting other modes of transport. Therefore, the construction and development of waterway logistics corridors connecting provinces and cities in the Mekong Delta is being promoted.

Construction of the southern waterway logistics corridor

A waterway with a length of nearly 200km, passing through 5 provinces and cities of the Mekong Delta, including Can Tho, Vinh Long, Ben Tre, Tien Giang, and Long An, connects with Ho Chi Minh City. Ho Chi Minh City and extends to Ba Ria – Vung Tau port cluster. This will be one of the two waterway logistics corridors of the southern region. When completed, it will be the lifeline for transporting import and export goods for the Mekong Delta. The project has a total capital of nearly 3,900 billion VND, currently being completed by ministries and sectors to submit to the Prime Minister for approval of investment policies.

Building a waterway logistics corridor for the Mekong Delta - Photo 1.

Currently, on this arterial waterway corridor of the Mekong Delta, Cho Gao canal is being considered as a “bottleneck” for the circulation of regional goods to Ho Chi Minh City. Ho Chi Minh and vice versa faced many difficulties.

Although it has been renovated and upgraded in phase 1, up to now, this canal route has no longer met the demand for goods transportation of the region, with an average of about 2-3 thousand boats passing through each day. Therefore, continuing to invest in upgrading to improve the throughput capacity is an urgent task at the moment.

Continue to invest in waterway infrastructure for the Mekong Delta

Cho Gao canal is a unique canal connecting 13 provinces in the Mekong Delta with Ho Chi Minh City. Ho Chi Minh and the provinces in the Southeast region. Currently, sailing ships are completely dependent on high tide. In order to open this large cargo flow, the project of expanding and upgrading Cho Gao canal phase 2 is being urgently implemented by the Waterway Management Board, the Ministry of Transport with the goal of reaching the finish line next year.

Mr. Tran Van Bon, Director of the Department of Transport of Tien Giang province, said: “If we dredging with this project, vehicles will circulate at all times including day and night. Goods it will be more convenient, but now transportation takes a long time, vehicle owners have to wait for water.

Building a waterway logistics corridor for the Mekong Delta - Photo 2.

According to a representative of Tien Giang province, it is expected that in May, 100% of the site will be handed over to the investor for construction. The leader of the Waterway Management Board, the Ministry of Transport, said that this unit aims to be about 2 months ahead of schedule so that this arterial traffic route can promote its role in promoting import and export activities in the delta. Mekong River with City. Ho Chi Minh.

Mr. Duong Thanh Hung, Director of the Waterway Project Management Board, Ministry of Transport, said: “The sooner the project is completed, the economic efficiency will increase that day. throughput is 70 million tons and if the fleet changes, it will still be 80 million tons. With that amount of goods, the export of goods from the Mekong Delta through Saigon port and a cluster of ports on Ho Chi Minh City. Ho Chi Minh City and Ba Ria Vung Tau bring great economic benefits”.

The opened infrastructure will help reduce costs and improve the competitiveness of goods in the Southwest region.

Mr. Nguyen Xuan Sang, Deputy Minister of Transport, said: “With the reduced cost, it will certainly bring into play the advantages of the Mekong Delta with current conditions even when there is a deep-water port in the future. In the Hau river area, it is still necessary to use this canal to ensure the volume of goods from the provinces bordering the Tien River to Ho Chi Minh City and Cai Mep Thi Vai”.

The project of renovating and upgrading Cho Gao canal phase 2 has a length of 10km, a total investment of more than 1,300 billion VND when completed, it will remove the “bottleneck” of goods trade over the years.

Clearing waterways on the logistics corridor of the Mekong Delta

As the largest agricultural center in the country, each year, the Mekong Delta contributes to 90% of rice production, 65% of aquatic products and 70% of export fruit output of the country. With a cargo volume of 17-18 million tons, after being upgraded and put into operation, it is expected that next year, Cho Gao canal will significantly solve difficulties in freight transport activities in the region. However, in order for water transport to maximize its role, not only the Cho Gao canal but other waterways located on the logistics corridor of the region must also be cleared.

Mo Cay Bridge in Ben Tre province was built 40 years ago, due to the limited height and width of navigation, according to water transport enterprises, barges have to reduce 1 layer of containers to be able to pass through. . This causes transportation costs to be increased by up to 25%.

On the waterway logistics corridor passing through 5 provinces of the Mekong Delta, there are dozens of weak bridges that need to be renovated and upgraded. In addition, the rivers and canals also need to be dredged to improve the exploitation capacity for watercraft.

Mr. Dinh Quang Huy, Deputy Director of Vinh Long Provincial Department of Transport, said: “Dredging has not been invested in river routes, leading to large watercraft unable to circulate to serve freight transport and economic development. local socio-economics”.

Pham Van Trong, Vice Chairman of Tien Giang Provincial People’s Committee, commented: “As we develop synchronously from anti-erosion, dredging, creating channels suitable for large ships and developing river network canals to transport and receive goods from the place of production to the logistics ports, the cost will be very competitive”.

According to the Waterway Project Management Board, the Ministry of Transport, in addition to more than 3,900 billion VND to build the waterway logistics corridor of the Mekong Delta, it will need more than 2,100 billion VND to invest in upgrading 11 weak bridges to improve the quality of life. exploitation capacity of this transport route.

Water transport is considered an advantage of the Mekong Delta. According to calculations, this mode of transport has about 30% lower cost than road. Therefore, the early removal of infrastructure bottlenecks to develop logistics corridors will make an important contribution to the trade in import and export goods and improve the competitiveness of strong goods such as aquatic products, rice, fruits… of the whole region.

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