According to enterprises and industry associations’ reflection, for more than 3 months, the freight of ocean container and the container has increased continuously, sometimes 10 times higher than from October 2020 onwards, has had a negative effect on domestic enterprises’ export of goods. Accordingly, many shippers have had to pay increased prices for empty containers, from an initial level of less than $1,000 per 40 feet container, now the price is being raised up to $8,000, even $10,000 per 40 feet container.

The main reason comes from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the social distancing, the decline in handling capacity of the EU and North American ports, leading to the reduction of the shipping lines by shipping agents. This fact is the cause of the shortage of shipments and the lack of empty containers increasingly worse.

In addition, the Covid-19 pandemic also causes the production capacity in regions such as Latin America, Eastern Europe, and South Asia to decline, the US and EU increase imports from East Asia, including China and Vietnam. The resonance of these two factors makes container rental prices pushed up very high.

In China, the shortage of empty containers occurs early and seriously. The amount of empty containers is “confiscated” to China causes a shortage of empty containers in many other countries, including Vietnam. Along with that, the capacity of Vietnamese enterprises to receive and manage empty containers is still limited, there are not many large container depots, the container depot is small, scattered and can not meet the demand for packing to export. There are very few companies doing business in making and repairing containers, especially specialized containers, so we have to depend on containers of foreign shipping agents.

As a result, the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Vietnam proposed the Prime Minister to assign the Ministry of Transport to lead and inspect the observance of Decree No.146/2016 regulations on the publishing of freights and surcharges of ocean container shipping and seaport charges and relevant legal documents. At the same time, reviewing and statisticizing the number of depot containers and requesting shipping agents to report regularly on the empty container in Vietnam.

Facing the situation, the Vietnamese state has promptly adopted appropriate policies to ensure the benefits of Vietnamese exporters. This is a very progressive policy and ensures to prevent the situation that service providers take advantage of the shortage of empty containers to “slapping water under the rain” pushed up service prices, raising rental prices uncontrollable. With this policy, it can be affirmed that in the near future, the shipping rates will gradually stabilize and go into a stable rhythm. Foreign businesses can feel secure when buying goods in Vietnam without having to encounter any problems with fluctuations in freight rates. This is also an advantage when buying goods in Vietnam compared to other countries with the same variation.

Ms. Gracie – Juridical Executive of MRS Steel


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