Vietnam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines) has announced its growth targets for 2020, a year set to feature various difficulties.
Trần Tuấn Hải, head of communications for the company, said though the port operation was facing many difficulties from competitive pressure from new port operators, Vinalines still saw growth in 2019.
Hải said more than 106 million tonnes of goods were shipped via its port network last year, 12.9 per cent more than in 2018. By the end of 2019, Vinalines’ consolidated revenue was estimated at more than VNĐ12 trillion (US$518 million), 6 per cent above the 2018 figure.
Port activities were better, but Vinalines also saw challenges in transporting goods with its own vessels, which only reached 23 million tonnes, a 13.8 per cent decrease from 2018.
According to Nguyễn Cảnh Tĩnh, Vinalines’ director, as the US-China trade war was still affecting the world economy, transportation routes were impacted.
Tĩnh added that the unstable political situation in some parts of the world, especially in the Middle East, affected fuel prices and made trouble for the transportation market.
At the same time, Tĩnh said the firm’s old vessels with an average age of 17.7 years made it tough to compete with private fleets.
To deal with these issues, the director said Vinalines will build more berths at Lạch Huyện Port in Hải Phòng City to receive ships of up to 8,000 TEUs. It will also accelerate ongoing construction projects, renovate infrastructure systems and renovate loading and unloading technology at all ports in its network with a total investment of more than VNĐ1.2 trillion.
This year, the firm aims to serve about 30 per cent of the cargo through Việt Nam.
Tĩnh said they would also invest in new vessels to replace 15 old ships, while also focusing on finding long-term contracts such as the delivery of coal from Indonesia and Australia to Việt Nam and to join international transport alliances in the region.
In 2020, Vinalines aims to handle more than 108 million tonnes of goods via ports, up 1.9 per cent from last year. It also hopes to carry 19.4 million tonnes of goods with its vessels, reaching consolidated revenue of VNĐ10 trillion and profit before tax of VNĐ1 trillion.
As one of several major State-owned corporations that need to go public, Vinalines has not completed the task after five years. Last year, it cancelled its first shareholders’ meeting to discuss a switch from State-owned to a joint-stock company model three times and no meeting has been held so far.
To prepare for the equitisation process, Vinalines has organised two share offerings. The initial public offering session attracted 42 investors who registered to buy 5,439,800 shares (accounting for more than 1.1 per cent of the nearly 490 million shares offered for auction). At the second session, the number of shares offered by Vinalines was more than 488.8 million. Only 5.44 million of the shares were registered for.