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SP-ITC typical brand overcoming difficulties from COVID-19

Starting at the end of 2019 and still happening complicatedly at global scale, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought many negative impacts on the economy and society around the world. In addition to the big impacts on social life, the pandemic has affected all economic sectors, causing difficulties for corporations and companies, even bankruptcy in many sectors. As a leading terminal in the Southern key economics area, SP-ITC is also negatively affected by pandemic, especially in the mid- 2020 period. But with the efforts of its management and staff, also with strategic orientation focusing on service quality and enhancing technology application in operation, SP-ITC terminal has overcome many difficulties and become the typical brand for journey to overcome difficulties causing by the COVID-19.

During the complicated pandemic progression in Vietnam, leading to the isolation of the entire society at the beginning of April 2020, the production restriction of many factories and enterprises had resulted in the throughput of the Vietnamese seaport system decreased, so did the throughput at SP-ITC, volume in April, May and June decreased by 39%, 33% and 26% over the same period in 2019 respectively.

Realizing that the COVID-19 has brought negative impacts on the economy in general as well as for SP-ITC in particular, the terminal’s management has identified the goal of ensuring service quality to maintain customers, while continuing to invest in terminal infrastructure and increasing technology applications in operation activities, patiently waiting for production activities to recover. During this period, SP-ITC cooperated with shipping lines to implement electronic Delivery Orders (eDO). With eDO, customers do not need to go to the shipping line's office to receive the printed DO and bring the DO to the terminal to process, instead they can handle those procedure online. Currently SP-ITC has deployed eDO with major carriers such as Maersk, MSC, CMA-CGM, Hapag-Lloyd, TS Lines and is actively implementing with others such as Evergreen, ZIM,...

With tireless efforts, in the third quarter of 2020, SP-ITC has reduced the volume decreasing level to less than 20%, creating momentum for the peak season of import-export activities in the last months of the year. During this period, SP-ITC has intensified working with direct customers, especially customers using stuffing/unstuffing services to optimize terminal resources and diversify the services providing to customers. The results were very impressive, SP-ITC successfully persuaded the exporters of coconut fiber, reefer cargo to use the stuffing service, and attracted more rice exporters with the flexible policies and standardized service quality. At the same time, to accompany with customers to overcome the negative effects of COVID-19, SP-ITC has issued a policy of free of charge for shifting boxes at the terminal from August 17th and our customers highly appreciate this policy from SP-ITC.

After the Government's successful efforts to control the pandemic, production activities of enterprises gradually became stable. And SP-ITC's preparations paid off, with terminal throughput in October 2020 recording a 7% year-on-year growth.

In December 2020, throughput of SP-ITC reached nearly 60,000TEUs, the record volume after more than four years of operation, and increasing 166% over the same period. And on December 11th, 2020, SP-ITC closed its journey of overcoming difficulties in 2020 with the event of welcoming Cape Monterey of ZIM's C2A service, C2A is also the only service on the the market directly connects Vietnam's seaports with Australia.

But the phase of the ending of the 3rd quarter - the beginning of the 4th quarter of 2020 was a difficult period for carriers and customers. Although import and export activities have gradually stabilized, but due to the effects of many tropical storms in the East Sea and Pacific Ocean, schedules of many shipping routes have been affected and vessels might need to wait for berth at many terminals in the region, therefore many businesses' supply chains had been stagnated. For supporting vessels to catch up with right schedule, SP- ITC worked closedly with the carriers for deploying ad-hoc calls to SP-ITC with nearly 30 calls in October and November. Although the berthing schedule sometimes was very tight, the terminal’s management and staff did their best to receive and quickly handled the vessels.

Also from the beginning of December, SP-ITC continued to make its mark on the terminal operation market when it successfully implemented the application of electronic Equipment Interchange Receipt (eEIR), becoming the first terminal in Vietnam to introduce this feature. This is a breakthrough development not only for SP-ITC but also for the entire Vietnamese liner shipping industry in the direction of modernizing port transactions, in addition to the benefits of data storage and environment protection, eEIR also helps to reduce the amount of time that trucks have to stop waiting at the terminal’s gate, thereby helping turn-around time faster.

SP-ITC's efforts have been highly appreciated by carriers and customers, thus the terminal received more supports with more vessels and shipments. In December 2020, throughput of SP-ITC reached nearly 60,000TEUs, the record volume after more than four years of operation, and increasing 166% over the same period. And on December 11th, 2020, SP-ITC closed its journey of overcoming difficulties in 2020 with the event of welcoming Cape Monterey of ZIM's C2A service, C2A is also the only service on the the market directly connects Vietnam's seaports with Australia.

With the achievements in 2020, SP-ITC deserves to be the typical brand in the market for overcoming the difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In the coming years, SP-ITC will be consistent with strategies focusing on service quality and enhancing technology application in operations to continue affirming its position as the leading international container terminal in Vietnam.

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