Hanoi Railway Transport JSC on Friday inaugurated a refrigerated container train at Song Than Station in Binh Duong Province, southern Vietnam to transport fresh fruits, vegetables, and seafood from southern provinces to Dong Dang Station in the northern border province of Lang Son for transshipment to China.
The train consists of 22 carriages capable of handling 40-foot containers.
It currently takes the train 72 hours to travel from Song Than Station to Dong Dang Station. The travel time will be shortened upon the completion of the railway upgrade.
A representative of Hanoi Railway Transport JSC said the refrigerated container train will meet the demand for transporting agricultural products from southern provinces to the north for export to China.
More residents and enterprises have preferred intermodal freight transport services thanks to their stable service costs and punctuality, according to Vietnam Railways deputy general director Phan Quoc Anh.
The launching of intermodal freight transport services from Song Than Station has opened up a new way for localities in the south to export their products.
Vietnam Railways currently operates four pairs of trains to transport cargo abroad per day. The sector will add more trains depending on enterprises’ demand, Quoc Anh added.
Lam Nhat Dan, general director of Van Hoa Group, which has used the refrigerated container train, said the company exports 50,000 metric tons of cargo per year, so it looks forward to safe, high-quality, and fast means of transport.
The transport by road and sea requires complicated procedures and high costs. As a result, the refrigerated container train from Song Than Station helps reduce costs, Dan added.
A representative of a company specializing in exporting agricultural products to China informed that transport costs make up some 10 percent of the product value if refrigerated containers are shipped by sea. The cost will double if containers are transported by air.
That is not to mention the dependence on foreign shipping lines.
The refrigerated container train from Song Than Station will pave the way for agricultural product exports, the representative noted.
Nguyen Xuan Oanh, a trader in the southwestern region who joins hands with a company to export jackfruits and dragon fruits to China, agreed that transport costs will fall thanks to the Song Than-Dong Dang refrigerated container train route.
“Logistics costs account for up to 20-25 percent of products’ prices [in Vietnam], while the proportion is about 12 percent in Thailand and the world’ average is 14 percent," Oanh said.
“With the new railway, local agricultural products will be more competitive thanks to the shorter travel time."
It is high time to develop the rail freight transport, especially to the Chinese market, according to Do Ha Nam, vice-chairman of the Vietnam Food Association.
“The volume of Vietnamese exports to China is on the rise. We can ship products to many other markets, not only China, with good connectivity,” Nam said, adding that it is needed to simplify procedures and reduce intermediary stages to shorten the travel time.