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Port congestion impedes agricultural exports

By Thi Ha October 16, 2021 | 09:26 pm GMT+7

Agricultural export by Vietnamese businesses is being delayed due to slowed customs clearance and port congestion.

Products exported to the U.S. would take over three weeks to be transported, and another three to be put into storage as only half of the workforce is available due to the pandemic. For products exported to China, the time it takes to do so is around 7-8 days instead of the usual 4-5. Such delayed customs clearance have affected the costs and quality of exported products, Nguyen Dinh Tung, director of the Vina T&T company, said at a meeting on agricultural product sale on Saturday. Port congestion in both Vietnam and around the world is severely impacting exports, Tung said. Prolonged transportation time has also caused imported products to be spoiled, he added. Personnel working at ports, both in Vietnam and around the world, is being limited to 50 percent, causing export delays.

A man holds up several mangoes in southern Dong Thap Provjnce. Photo by VnExpress/Nam Le

Increased booking cancellation rates by shipping companies has also been a problem. The Covid-19 situation in the south has also caused shipping companies to cut down the number of voyages to Vietnam, resulting in reduced supply. Shipments to the U.S. and Europe suffer as a result. Rising transportation costs have also proved to be a challenge, with an example being container truck transportation fees to U.S. ports having increased by sevenfold year-on-year, Tung said. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said it would work with Chinese customs authorities next week to hasten customs clearance processes for Vietnamese agricultural products. Businesses meanwhile need to learn better on their export markets to deal with port congestion issues, it added. Vietnam's export turnover of agriculture, forestry and fisheries products is estimated at $32.1 billion in the first eight months of the year, up 21.6 percent year-on-year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.


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