Sharing the hardship of the ocean transport sector, Vinalines expects to suffer a VND2,100 billion loss this year, its CEO Nguyen Canh Viet admitted at a meeting on Tuesday.

“There are few transporting contracts amid these crisis times, while several partners refused to clear their payment on time, despite the cheap fares,” Viet said.

Even worse, several seaports such as CICT, SSIT, SP-PSA and CMIT, which are operated by the joint-ventures between Vinalines and international partners, are also suffering losses, he added.

Vinalines’ subsidiaries sold 10 vessels last year in a bid to cut losses, sending the total number of its fleet to 143 vessels with a combined loading capacity of 3 million DWT. DWT, or deadweight tonnage, is a measure of how much weight a ship is carrying or can safely carry.

Viet said Vinalines is seeking to borrow loans of VND3 trillion for its 14 subsidiaries to maintain operation over the tough times.

“It’s forecasted that the ocean transporting market would be revitalized in 2017, so our subsidiaries are capable of repaying debts by that time,” he said.

Vinalines, fully known as Vietnam National Shipping Lines, began falling into trouble last year, with a number of enormous losses and economic wrongdoings unearthed by state inspectors, and its former chairman Duong Chi Dung got wanted for his economic offenses committed during the time he was in charge of the state-run group.

The fugitive Dung was arrested abroad in early September, and is now in custody.

Several police officers meanwhile have recently been detained for assisting Dung flee from Vietnam.

Tuoi Tre News - January 30, 2013