If you're sourcing from Vietnam today, you probably already have realized that transshipment costs are eating into your total landed cost savings. That's because Vietnam's ports currently cannot handle many of the large volume container ships that travel the seas between Asia and West Coast ports. A recent article from a Vietnamese publication explains how Vietnam plans to overcome its current shipping woes (hat-tip: World Trade Magazine).
According to the article, "The limited size and shortage of infrastructure at seaports means that goods travelling from Viet Nam to major international markets such as the US and the EU have to be trans-shipped to larger ports, such as Hong Kong and Singapore. The additional handling costs offset Viet Nam's lower labour costs." But Vietnam has a plan, according to deputy director of the National Maritime Department, Nguyen Ngoc Hue, "The most effective way ... is to have a professional seaport development scheme that has a strategic vision of some dozens of years ahead. Seaport planning must include details for the rear of ports, and must have transparent feasibility." Will Vietnam make the investment in such a program? This blogger thinks it must.