First Deepwater Container Terminal Opens

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Jun. 1 – Vietnam’s first deep-water container terminal was inaugurated last Saturday in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau.

The new SP-PSA International Port on the Cai Mep-Thi Vai River in Tan Thanh District will now make it possible for Vietnam to have direct shipping access to the U.S. market. “This is of great significance to the Southern Key Economic Zone, and Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province in particular,” said Deputy Minister of Transport Tran Doan Tho during the inauguration.

The port was able to receive the 288 meter-long, 59,650 DWT vessel APL Alexandrite, the largest container vessel ever to arrive on a Vietnamese port. The port project is a joint venture between Saigon Port and Vinalines of Vietnam and PSA Vietnam, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Singapore’s PSA International.

The CEO of Southeast Asia and Singapore Terminals at PSA International, Kuah Boon Wee, told Vietnam News that a new record would be set next week when APL starts its Pacific South No1 Service direct to North America.

He said: “We pay tribute to APL for the foresight to launch this service at a time when the world economy has yet to show strong signs of recovery. Vietnam’s importers and exporters will surely benefit from APL’s new service.”

According to Barry Akbar, managing director of APL Vietnam, said the APL Alexandrite’s inaugural voyage has set the scene for the first-ever direct container shipping services between Vietnam and the United States in as quick as 15 days.

He added: “It is a credit to the Vietnamese Government’s vision and its commitment to change that a modern, integrated freight transportation system is fast becoming a reality.”