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DP World's Vietnam Terminal Opened 

Hiep Phuoc near Ho Chi Minh City operating since October

DP World said on Sunday its new container terminal at Hiep Phuoc, near Ho Chi Minh City, had opened last year.

The Saigon Premier Container Terminal, which is operated by DP World, began operations in October 2009.

The first phase of the project includes two berths and storage capacity for up to 15,000 20-foot containers at a time, the company said in a statement.

When the terminal is fully built out, it is planned to have a capacity of 1.5 million TEUs a year.

The new terminal is one of six new terminals that have opened, are under construction or are planned at ports near Ho Chi Minh City to meet rising global demand for textiles and apparel products that are increasingly being manufactured in Vietnam.

Two of the new terminals started operating last May and June when the harbor at Cai Mep was mostly dredged down to a depth of 39 feet, deep enough to handle deep-sea container vessels.

Cai Mep’s harbor channel still has shallow spots to be dredged, so some vessels must wait for high tide to get into port. But more dredging is planned that will enable the terminals to handle vessels with a capacity of up to 8,000 TEUs.

Such carriers as APL, MOL and Hanjin on behalf of the CKYH Alliance (Cosco, “K” Line, Yang Ming and Hanjin) have started direct services from the new terminals to the U.S. West Coast in the last six months.

Maersk Line established a weekly feeder service last September that connects with its TP6 direct trans-Pacific loop at Hong Kong, which it said offers the fastest trans-Pacific transit time from Vietnam to the United States.

Contact Peter T. Leach at pleach@joc.com

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