Saigon Newport: Resilience Makes Success

10:13:14 AM | 5/11/2019

In 30 years of development, Saigon Newport Corporation (SNP) has developed very rapidly and become the largest and most professional container port operator in Vietnam. The following conversation with Mr. Tran Khanh Hoang, Deputy General Director of Saigon Newport Corporation, will help us learn about the successes obtained by the corporation. Van Luong reports.

With its tireless efforts, SNP has become the largest and most professional container terminal operator in Vietnam and gradually affirmed its position and reputation in the international market. Could you please introduce this impressive achievement?

Before 1975, Tan Cang was a military port built by the U.S.-backed Saigon administration for warfare purposes. After the national reunification, to fulfil the task of defending the sovereignty of territorial waters, on March 15, 1989, the Minister of Defense issued a decision on the establishment of Saigon military port affiliated to the Vietnam People’s Navy. The port serves both military and commercial business purposes.

In 1989, the takeover and business operation were conducted without delay. In addition to reinforcement shipments to Spratly Islands, the port served its first bulk ships. In 1992, SNP decided to invest in infrastructure and specialized equipment, and shift to container carrier service from bulk cargo service. Since 2006, it has been operated as a holding corporation, modernized its infrastructure, equipment and management; and expanded operations across the country and to the international market.

After 30 years of development (March 15, 1989 to March 15, 2019), from an old military port capitalized at VND14.7 billion, SNP now has 16 seaports and six inland container depots (ICDs) plus various warehousing and logistics facilities in key economic areas of the country, with total assets of over VND25 trillion and a market capitalization of over VND40 trillion. The firm makes an average annual growth of 20%.

Currently, Saigon Newport Corporation has become the largest, most modern and professional container terminal operator in Vietnam. The corporation operates on three high-performing core businesses.

Port operation: SNP is running 16 modern seaports in Vietnam, including:

Intra-Asia port cluster in Ho Chi Minh City: Tan Cang - Cat Lai Terminal is the largest and most modern port in Vietnam. It can receive ships of 45,000 tons. Tan Cang - Hiep Phuoc Terminal can serve ships of 7,000 tons.

International transshipment deep-water sea terminal cluster in Ba Ria - Vung Tau consists of Tan Cang - Cai Mep container terminal, Tan Cang - Cai Mep international terminal, Tan Cang - Cai Mep Thi Vai terminal, which can serve vessels of 20,000 tons that can go directly to the Americas and Europe.

Southwest terminal cluster comprises Tan Cang - Sa Dec terminal, Tan Cang - Cao Lanh terminal, Tan Cang - Thot Not terminal, Tan Cang - Cai Cui terminal and Tan Cang - Hon Chong terminal.

Central terminal cluster consists of Cam Ranh international terminal and Tan Cang - Mien Trung terminal in Quy Nhon.

Hai Phong terminal cluster includes Tan Cang - 128 terminal; Tan Cang - 189 terminal and Tan Cang - Hai Phong international container terminal - the first deep-water transshipment port in the north of Vietnam.

Logistics services: SNP provides full-package logistics solutions for customers, including cargo transportation by road, railway, waterway and airway, domestically and internationally; warehousing services and distribution centers; offers agency services and hired customs declaration services; and provides supply chain management through Tan Cang - Long Binh ICD, Nhon Trach ICD in Dong Nai, Song Than ICD in Binh Duong, Tan Cang Hai Phong ICD, Tan Cang Ha Nam ICD and Que Vo Bac Ninh ICD.

Sea transport and offshore services: The Corporation has developed a shipping fleet with a total capacity of 3,200 TEUs, holding 20% of the North-South container transport market share and effectively connected its logistics operations. The firm effectively diversifies and develops offshore economic services such as oil and gas services, oil rig services, logistics services, fishery, seafood processing and public utilities for Spratly Islands and the southern continental shelf of Vietnam.

In addition to business tasks, the military port of Saigon always excellently fulfils all military and foreign defense tasks.

Each company pursues its own philosophy - the compass for all actions. How about this at SNP?

Saigon Newport is a State-owned enterprise, governed by the Law on Enterprises. Thus, the law guides its business decisions. However, each unit, each division must have aggressive, timely and sensitive leadership and the most effective strategy for actions. The reason why Saigon Newport has obtained spectacular growth to lead the industry in Vietnam and gradually strengthened its foothold in the international market is the right forward thinking, long-term business strategy and clear directions for each product branded "Saigon Newport".

The leadership team have made a series of quick, creative and disruptive strategic decisions. For example, the company completely shifted from bulk cargo service to containerized cargo service in 1992 to catch up with shipping development trends in the region and in the world. The company went one step ahead with the construction of Cat Lai Port on the Dong Nai River in 1997 to serve big vessels; constructed an inland clearance depot (ICD) in Song Than (Binh Duong) in 1995 to build up a powerful logistics service to attract commodities to Tan Cang and Cat Lai. In addition, SNP has decided to invest in port equipment from world-leading suppliers and disruptive technologies (TOPX and TOPOVN operating systems) to create sustainable competitive advantages. Anticipating potential and opportunities of the logistics industry, Saigon Newport is trying to reach out to the world market with a well-designed strategy to quickly develop its second core business, logistics services, by optimizing the connectivity of seaports, river ports, ICDs and depots in key economic regions throughout the country by waterway transport network, ground transportation and shift towards the third business pillar, inland water transport, to meet rising demands of domestic and international customers.

With focused investment for modern equipment, port expansion and better service for customers and shipping lines, Tan Cang-Cat Lai Terminal is always a trusted destination for shipping lines, a trustworthy forwarding address for customers, matching its position as a top container terminal in Vietnam by market share, throughput and service quality. In order to meet rising berth demands of shipping lines, especially for bigger vessels, to increase loading capacity and reduce operating costs, Tan Cang - Cat Lai Terminal has extended its berth length to 1,950 meters, enabling it to handle 5.5 million TEUs (equivalent to 66 million tons a year). Therefore, Cat Lai Terminal makes an annual growth of over 12% for years. Ranked among the 22 largest container ports in the world, SNP is an important point of exchange of goods between Vietnam and other countries in the world. According to the strategy for the following years, SNP will continue to stick to its three core businesses: Port operation, logistics services, and sea transport and offshore services; and base on three platforms: Top-quality, customer-oriented service; advanced management, professional personnel of high quality; and military discipline, business culture and community responsibility.

SNP will uphold the tradition of a labor hero, strive to build Saigon Newport Corporation into a leading economic and defense group of Vietnam in marine economy and logistics; successfully carry out the mission of “Connecting goods flows, developing the marine economy, raising the Vietnam Value brand, and contributing to building and defending the fatherland.”

People are always considered a prerequisite for the sustainable development of a company. How has SNP recruited and developed human resources?

We always pay attention to personnel development strategy and build and promote the military corporate culture. “Being dynamic, creative, professional, responsible, dedicated, disciplinary and trustworthy in business” is always the impression of customers on SNP’s staff. That characteristic, together with Navy soldiers’ desires for innovation and dedication, has built today's successful and developing SNP.

SNP always puts a premium on improving material and spiritual life for employees; ensures good employment and stable, high income for over 8,000 employees; generates over 10,000 jobs for local people, and plays a part in keeping local social security.

SNP always takes the lead in mass mobilization, effectively takes care of Vietnamese heroic mothers, martyrs’ families and pro-community activities and joins movements of hunger eradication and poverty alleviation. The funding value is tens of billions of Vietnamese dong a year.

SNP always upholds discipline, civilized lifestyle and integrates SNP’s values with those of Vietnamese families and the nation to create a solid foundation for the corporate culture.

What message would you like to deliver to Korean partners and what are potential cooperation fields and industries of the two sides?

Currently, Saigon Newport is a strategic partner of Hanjin Group, Hyundai Group and a provider of logistics services for Samsung Group.

SNP will always try its best to cooperate with visionary and dedicated international investors in various sectors to sustain Vietnam's marine economy. SNP always respects its partners, ensures long-term and sustainable cooperation to promote their business strengths and absolutely complies with Vietnamese and international laws. Led by the cooperation and investment motto of Saigon Newport: "For the sustainable development and interests of all parties”, in addition to catering port and logistics operators in Vietnam, SNP will play a key role in developing marine economy, firmly defend the sacred sovereignty of territorial waters, and give a helping hand to the strategy of sustaining Vietnam’s marine economy to 2030.”

Thank you very much!