According to Mr. Phan Quoc Anh, Deputy General Director of VNR, the plan to open intermodal cargo ships to Europe has been an idea for many years; in which there have been units of the Corporation that have carried out intermodal transport since 2016. However, this plan is further accelerated in the context that this year's passenger volume is expected to drop sharply due to the impact of the COVID-19 and the railway structure repair project on the entire North - South route.



According to Mr. Phan Quoc Anh, in order to minimize damage caused by the epidemic, one of the solutions that the Corporation offered is to improve the operation of international freight trains. This is the time when cargo ships show their outstanding strength compared to other types of transport. For example, a ship carrying refrigerated containers of fresh goods from the South to Dong Dang station (Lang Son) can carry 20 containers, has a 20% lower freight rate than the road, and completes customs clearance procedures in a maximum of 5 days. Compared with road transport, which is being congested at the border gate, the railway has a distinct advantage.
Mr. Phan Quoc Anh shared, cargo ships make Coast Guard procedures very quickly, due to the prevention of epidemics and quarantine for train drivers, the accompanying manpower is simpler than by road, and the risk of infection is low. Currently, railways are the optimal solution for exporting agricultural products to China.
“In order for the railway industry to really promote its strengths, even after the epidemic is over and passenger trains are restored, it is important to invest in upgrading the quality of carriages to ensure the quality of goods, invest in loading and unloading ability at the station and improving management ability are of special concern. Currently, the railway industry has been building about 300 new container wagons to increase freight transport," said Mr. Phan Quoc Anh.
As one of the key units transporting both goods and passengers of VNR, Mr. Do Van Hoan, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Hanoi Railway Transport Joint Stock Company (Haraco), said that the business is very focus on international intermodal transport because this is an advanced form of transportation. Currently, many items are being transported between Vietnam and China; in which imported goods have a large output such as: coking coal to Xuan Giao to serve Viet Trung Steel Factory about 200-250 thousand tons/year; fertilizer about 250-300 thousand tons/year; Chemical exports are about 250-300 thousand tons/year. Currently, the company is actively sourcing goods and promoting container transport.
However, Mr. Do Van Hoan admitted, the biggest difficulty is that most of the general warehouses have deteriorated, there is no standard warehouse to store and preserve fresh and valuable goods. high.
Meanwhile, with many years of experience in transporting containers by rail, Mr. Nguyen Hoang Thanh, Deputy General Director of Railway Transport and Trading Joint Stock Company (Ratraco) shared that since 2016, Ratraco has signed the contract to cooperate with China railway container shipping enterprise.
Mr. Nguyen Hoang Thanh said that trade agreements signed bilaterally or multilaterally will open up opportunities for transport business; including railways when goods traffic between countries increases. Especially, trade exchanges between China and ASEAN countries; including Vietnam continues to be promoted. Items such as seafood, fruits, etc. from Vietnam and ASEAN countries to the Chinese market need to be transported by containers, including refrigerated containers.
According to the analysis of Mr. Nguyen Huu Duc, a transport expert, in international intermodal transport, railways can transport large volumes, go far and the safety of goods is quite high compared to many types of means of other transport. In addition, with rail transport, the schedule is always available in advance and clearly fixed so that the shipper or the business can consult and schedule the transportation to suit the business needs of each party.
According to an expert in the railway industry, the success of this intermodal route depends on freight rates and transit time. Transport time is only 1/2 or 2/3 of other means of transport. Now, if both taxes and fees are reduced, it will certainly attract customers.
In order to quickly connect and develop this intermodal route, according to VNR Deputy General Director Phan Quoc Anh, Vietnam Railways is currently working with  relevant countries to agree on technical solutions for connection and communication. , freight rates, service fee schedules, from which to introduce common products to announce to customers.
However, Mr. Phan Quoc Anh emphasized, the current problem is to have a source of goods to ensure regular operation of the route. Vietnam Railways is also actively looking for sources of goods such as auto parts, electronic goods, fresh food products, etc.
According to VNR, the partner countries have worked with the Corporation many times and are committed to creating favorable conditions for this transport route to develop. Specifically, the representative of Kazakhstan National Railway said that he will commit to support Vietnamese railways and businesses such as: Providing warehouses and yards in Kazakhstan, coordinating to find customers and partners for Vietnamese businesses to sell. , transporting goods to Kazakhstan as well as through Kazakhstan to other countries.
However, besides the price policy, currently, Vietnam railway still has difficulties in ability and equipment. Mr. Quoc Anh said, Vietnam railway still lacks experience and ability in logistics, lack of containers for intermodal transport. In terms of infrastructure, intermodal goods along this route can go from inland Vietnam to transit through China in two directions: Yen Vien - Dong Dang and to Bang Tuong; Yen Vien - Lao Cai to Ha Khau.
Mr. Nguyen Hoang Thanh, Deputy General Director of Ratraco informed that Ratraco is currently transporting goods from Vietnam to third countries such as: Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Uzabekistan, Russia, Tajistan, Poland, Germany, UK... Especially , along with transportation activities, Ratraco provides Coast Guard declaration services, quarantine ... for imported and exported goods on international intermodal trains. Types of goods being transported by Ratraco include: electronics, textiles, footwear, cosmetics and frozen foods, fruits...
To meet the demand for inter-transportation, Ratraco has invested and upgraded specialized wagons, such as: 170 P-cars transporting petroleum, liquid goods, 150 Mc-cars transporting goods container type, 15 McC wagons transporting refrigerated containers, 50 open-top H-wall wagons transporting all kinds of components, containers, 20 NR wagons transporting cars...

According to railway experts, if participating in international rail transport, on the one hand, Vietnam's railways will extend the domestic transport market to the international market and reverse,  to welcome the flow of goods from other countries to Vietnam, especially the opportunity to access advanced scientific and technical knowledge and management experience from abroad.

However, railway experts say that the reality is that the current ability of the railway industry cannot meet the increasing volume of international intermodal transport in the coming years without investment appropriate in terms of infrastructure as well as facilities. The quality of international transport is also an issue that the railway industry needs to pay attention to.

(Nguồn: Baotintuc.vn)