China is free of tolls and can travel thousands of kilometers without stops, which helps the cost of transporting potatoes from Shandong to Hanoi, including the cost of new imports, equal the cost of transport from Da Lat to Hanoi.
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the global business environment, disrupting the supply chain of goods in Vietnam, especially agricultural products. When wholesale markets closed, hundreds of thousands of tons of agricultural products were stuck while most urban consumers had to pay very high costs because they had no goods to buy.
As part of the Techfest 2021 series of activities, Logistics Technology Village organized the conference “Vietnam Logistics towards a sustainable supply chain” with perspectives from 3 parties: the State, suppliers and schools to help provide perspectives about the supply chain in Vietnam during the recent Covid epidemic.
According to experts, there are two problems in the consumption of agricultural products, one is the post-harvest preservation stage from the farm and the other is the logistics transportation stage.
Speaking at the conference, Ms. Cao Cam Linh, Strategic Director of Viettel Post, said that during the recent outbreak, Viettel Post’s biggest challenge was how to bring agricultural products from the North into the Southern provinces at a reasonable cost. reason when most wholesale markets in the South were closed.
“The biggest obstacle we face when driving interprovincially is testing, 3 on-site, which increases costs a lot. We used refrigerated container trucks, we have vehicles but not enough drivers because they go to Ho Chi Minh City. The driver was quarantined for 14 days. We have to consider the plan of using canvas trucks, vans and adjusting harvest times to ensure that agricultural products are transported to Ho Chi Minh City without damage. At that time, cool cars were best used to transport vegetables, and tubers had a better preservation rate than using a van,” Ms. Linh shared.
According to Viettel Post’s Strategy Director, the rate of damage during long-distance transportation of vegetables is very high. When transported by cooler, if vegetables and tubers are left together, the vegetables will be crushed, so Viettel Post staff must coordinate with the driver and work with farmers at the same time. In the past, when farmers sold to traders, they had the habit of packaging large items and loading them into boxes, but when selling through e-commerce platforms and distributing to final consumers, Viettel Post had to train farmers to share Combo packages right at the beginning of production, kept on the vehicle to avoid impact.
For the export market, Viettel Post commits to exporting lychees to the European market within 48 hours, so it also has to choose a direct flight, pick the lychees at night, process them and take them to Noi Bai airport for delivery within 12 hours. Can distribute products at supermarkets in Germany.
I went to 26 provinces of China to understand why Chinese products are so cheap and the whole world buys Chinese products. We pack vegetables in hot warehouses and transport them by cold trucks, but all Chinese vegetables are packed in cold warehouses and transported by hot trucks. China’s competitiveness is the most terrible in the agricultural industry, requiring it to always change and move.
They researched which vegetable varieties to grow to avoid collisions. People planted vegetables when they were harvested and put them in storage to cool evenly and dry the entire surface of the vegetable leaves before placing them in Styrofoam boxes. They put 2 bottles of frozen Lavie wrapped in newspaper in a box, then compress the vegetables tightly, and finally the vegetables are loaded onto the cart surrounded by cotton blankets or made from rags. Trucks carrying agricultural products like that can travel for a week, delivering goods from China’s northern Shandong province back to Ho Chi Minh City without the need for a refrigerated vehicle. In addition, trucks transporting agricultural products in China are free of tolls and travel thousands of kilometers without stopping, which helps to reduce the cost of transporting potatoes from Shandong to Hanoi several thousand kilometers. including the cost of new imports equal to the cost of transporting from Da Lat to Hanoi”, Ms. Thuc raised the reality of the competitiveness of Chinese logistics.
According to Ms. Thuc, Vietnam’s consumer education is not considered important, so Vietnamese agricultural products cannot build their own brands. “Frozen durian is very delicious, but due to the habit of Vietnamese consumers to eat it fresh, the cost of circulation includes huge damage costs.”
Change management thinking
During the recent outbreak, Ms. Thuc said that our logistics chain was not only broken internationally and domestically but also broken locally.
The lesson of agricultural product congestion in Hai Duong in early 2021 continues to repeat itself in the southern provinces. “1kg of chicken in Binh Phuoc costs 8,000 VND/kg while 1kg of vegetables in Ho Chi Minh City people can buy for 80,000 VND/kg, which is a huge waste. Our opinion on the first day of July and our recommendation to the Department of Industry and Trade is that on national highways and traffic arteries, localities are not allowed to block goods.
In the past period, people suffered losses, businesses suffered losses, consumers suffered losses, and one of the biggest crises was the mental crisis. Traffic congestion makes people not know where to buy goods. As for businesses, we are very tired. Our chain still has to buy agricultural products because we cannot abandon farmers, even though Logistics costs have increased greatly.
Like the durian season in Dak Lak, there is almost nothing in the Central Highlands for primary processing and packaging. Fruits have long been concentrated in Tien Giang, and all technical labor to remove durians or harvest them is concentrated in Durian. Tien Giang, but bringing a worker from Tien Giang to Dak Lak is extremely difficult. We petitioned the Department of Industry and Trade but there was no official document allowing us to bring technical or purchasing workers from Tien Giang to Dak Lak. We use every method to get the job done, while ripe durian cannot wait. There are days when there is a crisis when people are afraid and don’t know if they can buy it. At such times, it has a huge psychological impact. Our business has to make a deposit to buy goods, sign a supply contract at the beginning of the season, we are also forced to pay a price, while because there is no labor, the buyer has a partner who gives up the deposit, affecting the whole company. chain”, Ms. Thuc shared about the stages of traffic congestion.
Mr. Le Duy Hiep, Chairman of the Vietnam Logistics Service Business Association, said that the peak import-export season is now over, because every year in September, shipments are exported to Europe and the US in time for the Christmas and New Year seasons. However, he believes that Vietnam will quickly recover the supply chain.
Vietnamese agriculture needs to immediately learn from China.
Ms. Nguyen Thi Thanh Thuc, Member of the Executive Committee of the Vietnam Digital Agriculture Association, agrees with Ms. Cao Cam Linh’s opinion and hopes that one day 9 million Vietnamese farming households will go to the e-commerce platform to understand. Understanding how fierce the intermediary trade and logistics stage is, in order to bring products to consumers with high value, farmers must also change the way they do it at the output stage.
According to Ms. Thuc, the biggest cost in the logistics stage is the cost of product damage, most importantly in the post-harvest stage.
“One day we export 200 tons of vegetables and fruits through the Lao Cai border gate but import thousands of tons of Chinese agricultural products. Chinese cabbage in Dak Nong sells for 5,000 VND/kg but Chinese cabbage is still cheaper than 3,000 VND. We sell Chinese cabbage for 1 week without rotting because of the harvesting and packaging stage. In Vietnamese agriculture, we need to learn from China immediately.”
Translated by: Nguyen Phuong Anh