Thứ sáu, 17/09/2021Hotline: 0816 886 786Quảng cáo

The spring comes think about the national transport system

(VLR) New Year’s Eve last year, I called a friend in Hanoi to give him a New Year Wish. He told me it hailed right in the night of the New Year’s Eve. His house was in O Quan Chuong, right in the ancient town. Ice balls pounded on his rooftop. A hail in the New Year’s Eve in Hanoi was a thing I never experienced. “It is so strange this year", I thought.


After Tet was the epidemic of COVID-19. It started in China and then widespread to the whole Asia, to Europe, to America and even to countries in the South hermisphere- Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand and Latin American countries. The pandemic has caused terror to the whole world and to Vietnam as well. In October serial typhoons damaged the Central and Tay Nguyen- making the year of 2020 full of challenges and difficulties.

Our country bravely fought with the pandemic right at the start and a few monts later we basically controlled it. The economy was blooming back and achived a certain growth. The growth of 3% of the year is an achievement that few countries in the world can achieve. However, the pandemic has been going on and the world’s economy has not yet recovered. Lots of difficulties and challenges lie ahead, causing no less impacts to logistics providers’ activities. A friend of mine who is a leader of a large logistics company in town let me know thanks to the growth in import- export activities, logistics activites have had developments. The achievement of controlling the pandemic and bringing the economy to the new normal condition have been recognized and appreciated by many countries. So proud!!!

For many years, I used to go to Hanoi at the end of autumns to see old friends and to enjoy a cool weather there. I could not come to Hanoi this year due to the pandemic. However, I couldn’t help having appointments with old friends to talk about old time memories. So I had an appointment with Hung- an old coworker working at the Operation Research Department of the Ministry of Transport in the 1970s- the department then became the Transport Economy Institute. At the days, we together did research on economic theories on transport, especially those on the united national transport. In the difficult war time and years after, we focused on basic matters of long time value as infrastructures, systematic theories, and methods of optimizing transport systems.

Hung has been living in HCMC for over twenty years. I visited him and he made a small meal for both. And we talked about old memories.

After a few glasses of beer and some talks about families and old friends. Hung, being lost in his thoughts, said: "Time flies. We worked together 50 years ago and it has been 30 years since we first met".

Yes, it was such a long time. I still remember seeing together in a logistics conference. It was one of the first logistics conference held in Kinh Do Hotel on Nguyen Hue Street, near the Tax Shopping Mall. The concept of logistics was new at the time- there were discussions on how the concept was understood and difined in preparation for putting logistics in the law.

Remembering the conference, Hung said: "They put emphasis on the all system characteristic of logistics, which made me think about the concept of the national united transport system”.

I said: "When mentioning logistics and supply chains, they normally have to consider its transport system. In basic logistics course books, there is always an introduction to transport systems”.

“A transport system includes two elements: first, infrastructures including road system, transport hubs as stations, ports and hubs as warehouses, yards... second, means of transportation,” explained Hung.

He continued: "We have done a lot of things. Just have a look at our systems of roads, ports and warehouses having been built in the past twenty years”.


“I, however, feel there is not a harmony. In a transport system, we have road transport, waterway transport, railway transport, airway transport and tube transport. Although our road transport and waterway transport have had great developments, our railway transport is outdated. Long ago, we used to put emphasis on railway transport for its convenience in heavy loads as steels, ore, cement and construction materials and for long distance transport. Trucks have taken over the works and resulted in damages to road due to overloads ones. The bulding of Sao Mai- Ben Dinh Port Group is an example of the lack of synchronocity: ports and warehouses had been built but port local connecting roads and roads connecting the region to Vung Tau have not been developed to connect the area to the national road system. Local waterway transport partly helps to solve problems to the port area. We should consider what form of transport and what to be transported for planning and construction".

“We have been in shortage of large cargo delivery centers. Scattered and small warehouse systems weaken abilities of cargo transport and delivery. We already had researches on large warehouses serving regional cargo delivery as warehouses for the Southeastern in Dong Nai... But it has not been carried out".


"We have had fast containerization. It is partly because we have taken part in the world’s large supply chains. Our transport system connected with those of the world, with large shipping companies transporting cargo world wide. And our attempts and achievement should also be mentioned. I still remember in the 1990s, a company in HCMC converted river boats for carrying containers in local water ways. This kind of boat was small, which enabled to carry 16TEUs only and they first transported containers to Dong Thap Port. The port has served containers since. Now we can find river boats transporting hundreds of TEU traveling on rivers. And river ports have developed for handling container cargo”.

“Talking about logistics developments is talking about its foundation- trade. International integration is clearly shown with the fact we have been taking part in the world’s large supply chains. Exported goods go through these supply chains, and so do imported ones. Logistics serving these supply chains are important activities that ensures smooth flows of cargo. However, our high logistics cost is an obstacle. Goods exchange in the country is also of importance, and logistics should take part in the progress of cargo flows. Therefore, both foreign trade and local trade should be paid attention to".

“Yes, there are many matters to be researched for developments of transport systems, especially systems of roads, and hubs as ports and warehouses...".

Hung added “It is quite right that the Government has had determined actions in mobilization and the use of ODA this year to develop infrastructures. Our transport system has many things that should be done. In the other word, the increase of public investment is also a helpful solution that helps recover the economy in the situation of having too many bad impacts from the pandemic".

Playing with his smartphone, Hung thought a little and said: "IT has had great developments. Do you remember my cellphone at the end of 1980s and at the beginning of 1990s- that brick-sized phone was just for receving and making a call only. We also had beepers for message. We had no internet. And 208 computer was the most cutting-edge one, serving works of word processing and printing. Computers are much stronger now. Many computer functions have been integrated to this small phone”.

“We are in the Industry 4.0. Thanks to computers and the internet, many things are easy to be carried out, especially in business production. Computers and internet have taken part in port and warehouse managements and customs inspection... Many logistics companies and ports have equipped themselves with specialized software to carry out the work. These are examples for automation and computerization in production and business management”.

“There has been good news: we have successfully developed 5G network in HCMC and Hanoi. With it, we are able to develop automation, smart factories and smart cities...”.

We have many things to be done to build up a transport system enable to create equal development conditions to different areas, which help pushing up urbanization, economy and goods flow- conditions to develop logistics as well.

The ochna tree is having some flowers blooming. “It is a leap year this year, so the flowers are blooming soon", said Hung. The flowers are bright yellow, shinning in the sun light- a signal of the coming new year.

The Year of the Rat 2020- a year of difficulties and challenges- is coming to its end. Seeing the bright yellow color of ochna flowers, I believe in the country’s developments in the future. I hope our economy will have strong developments in the Year of the Ox 2021- with the strength of the Ox- the symbol of the year.

Lam Tue

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