Difficult times for Vietnam’s international trade
Vietnam is one of the rising stars when it comes to international trade. Many countries move their production sites from China to Vietnam. China, South Korea, Japan, the United States and the European Union are the most important trading allies. But with the new covid restrictions things are becoming complicated for the South-East Asian country.
Vietnam was one of the first countries that got affected with the COVID-19 virus and took massive precautions once it happened. Because of these strict measures, the amount of infections and deaths are relatively low in the country. Wearing face masks, social distancing, closed borders for all countries and only leaving the house for necessary groceries are part of the deal.
Since the economy is doing so well, factories decided to provide housing and food for their employees at the production sites, to let them work in a covid-free environment. In this way, production wouldn’t get affected, and Vietnam remains a strong partner in international trade.
Ho Chi Minh City out of business
Even though the factories and production sites did everything in their power to keep the activities going, now there’s another problem: the harbour. The southern commercial hub Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) is one of the busiest harbours in the world and it processes hundreds of big container ships every day. Can you imagine what happens when they close this hub?
That is exactly what happened right now. Vietnam’s experiencing a fourth wave and takes extra strong precautions. One of them is closing this hub, which means that international trade becomes complicated. Production sites are still running, but they can’t ship the goods anywhere, so soon production will stop. This means big delays, a huge increase in import prices and of course a major dip in Vietnam’s economy.
Rail is reliable
At this point, sea freight is facing hard times. Ships need to take different routes, or are offloading containers in different harbours. The war on containers is reaching its peak and nobody knows what happens next. In the meantime, rail freight remains to be the most reliable partner. Rail freight is going well. Yes, prices increased, as this happened in sea freight, but so far, it turns out to be the most reliable way to ship goods from Asia to Europe. Because of the efficient railway network, trains reach their destination on time, which means lower cost of ownership.
From mainland Asia, we can easily ship goods to anywhere in Europe. We are currently operating four times per week in Vietnam. From Haiphong and Ho Chi Minh, we offer sea-rail services into Europe. Average transit times are between 26-28 days at the moment. Besides all the economic benefits, rail freight also has a lower impact on the environment compared to air freight. Interested in getting to know more? Our rail expert loves a good challenge. Visit the website of Rail Bridge Cargo and request a test shipment for your products.