TOPLINE Railway freight transport has been very active for a long time, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, it has always maintained a high growth rate. However, recently when covid-19 re-emerged in many localities, especially the southern provinces, many localities implemented lockdown, this field began to face difficulties.
- Railway freight transport fell sharply, especially difficult when delivering goods outside the province.
- Transport by rail is safer and more efficient than transport by road, but a “luồng xanh” mechanism is needed to support and reduce cargo congestion.
Specialized train 50% off
Railway freight transport, especially North-South freight, dropped sharply due to the implementation of the lockdown by the provinces. According to records, July 26 at railway stations in Hanoi, after 3 days in Ho Chi Minh City. Hanoi implements distance according to Directive 16, the situation is quite deserted. At Giap Bat station – the largest cargo terminal in the Hanoi area, if in the last days of June and early July 2021, the cars in and out are loaded and unloaded, now only the southern terminal remains relatively crowded. However, mainly cars come in and unload, and a few positions are lined up on wagons.
Mr. Hoang Van Trieu, Head of Giap Bat Station, said that normally at the station, there are 7 pairs of special trains on the Giap Bat – Song Than route going to – not including trains in the whole carriage section. However, on July 26, there were only 2 specialized trains departing at the station but not enough length of the train as prescribed.
Since the city HCM and 19 southern provinces implemented lockdown, the average number of trains going to – going to the station decreased by 30%, the average number of loading and unloading wagons, loading and unloading tons decreased by about 40%. Particularly for 3 days, Hanoi implemented the distance, reducing the number of specialized trains by about 50%, about 60% of loading and unloading wagons, and tons of loading and unloading.
Ms. Hai Yen, Deputy Director of Song Than Railway Transport Branch, said that goods from Song Than to Giap Bat station, if delivered and returned to Hanoi city, would still be better, while the province’s diplomacy would be very difficult to return.
Not to mention, there are provinces and cities that require people from Hanoi to have a PCR test, which takes time to wait for results and costs money. In some places like Hai Phong, delivery staff and drivers from Hanoi returning to deliver goods will have to be isolated, unable to return. Due to such difficulties, most businesses have announced to suspend shipping by railroad.
Need a “green channel” for rail freight transport?
Ms. Yen said that the unit’s customers are mainly transportation, delivery – receipt and logistics businesses in Ho Chi Minh City, Binh Duong … so goods transported by ship depend on short-distance transportation by car.
Meanwhile, cars to collect goods to the station are difficult, must follow the “luồng xanh”, must have a QR code. However, the demand for codes in provinces and cities is too high, so it has not been issued in time, and the same is true for cars to return goods.
In addition, cargo ships passing through blocked provinces must not stop cargo operations. The work of loading and unloading goods, short-distance transportation at stations is the same, so trains cannot run. One of the biggest problems at present is short-distance transportation to major stations. Customers can queue at stations outside the isolation area, avoid entering the province, then set up regional trains to take them to focal stations such as Giap Bat, Yen Vien… However, the number of goods must be large enough to set up a train. Moreover, it will cost the customer so it is difficult to pay.
When provinces implement lockdown, rail transport will be safer and more efficient than road transport. Rail transport can carry more goods with each train is about 20 containers, which only needs 2 train drivers. The train running according to the available chart is also easy to track and manage. Therefore, it is necessary to have separate regulations on freight transport by rail to remove congestion and goods circulation. The granting of a “luồng xanh” for freight transport by rail requires the opinion and involvement of the relevant authorities.