I was blown away by the sheer number of shipping containers at the Cat Lai Terminal visit today. The terminal provides the things that a company needs in order to ship its goods on a waterway: a place for the ship to park, access to the boats with cranes, and also an organized crew that is capable of sending the right stuff to the right ship at the right time. There is a long process that must be followed before a container is ready for shipping and many moving parts are involved. The delivery man must deliver the product and pass customs inspections before anything can be shipped. If it passes customs, the container is registered in the terminal’s system and placed at a location to wait to be picked up and put on a boat. Once a boat is ready the container is retrieved and the system is updated to reflect this. The container is loaded and the goods are then shipped to their final destination. The important thing in that process is that the status of the container gets radioed to the tower to be updated and this allows the company to track all of their containers and keep customers happy. Furthermore, the Cat Lai terminal is placed at an optimal position within the country of Vietnam. Geographically, its location on the river is a good one as this river is deep and large enough to accommodate the large boats required. The port is also very close to the major industrial centers of the South including Ho Chi Minh City.
The Reunification Palace was also an interesting site to visit, with such interesting décor that is frozen in time from the days of the war and South Vietnam’s surrender. I found it interesting to here how the palace used to be called the president’s palace and that it was where the president of South Vietnam lived. After the war, the name was changed because the meetings to decide upon reunification terms were determined at that location. I was very surprised to hear that they still hold government meetings in the palace a couple of times per year.ER