Cat Lai Port and the Reunification Palace

Cat Lai was our last site visit during our time here in Ho Chi Minh city. Cat Lai is a shipping port which ties our studies of development together nicely as this is how many of the goods used are shipped here. Cat Lai is one of the largest ports in Vietnam and serves as the main distribution hub for goods coming into the Ho Chi Minh area. It’s located on the Saigon river which gives ships easy access to the ocean but also serves as an easy location for companies in Ho Chi Minh to receive their goods. Most of the economic growth of Vietnam is centered in Ho Chi Minh. Therefore, Cat Lai has a very strategic location as it’s centered by Saigon but also has easy access to shipping routes. This is seen as Cat Lai has a 92% market share in this industry. Therefore, Cat Lai must have a serious logistical software to handle all of this cargo. While touring the control tower, we got to see the software they use and how it works. Basically, the storage area is split up into rows with individual spots marked by a color. Depending on the color, Cat Lai prioritizes which container is shipped out with red being urgent and white being not urgent. After that, we visited the Reunification Palace which has an important role in the Vietnam war. The palace used to be where the president of South Vietnam lived. Thus, it was the head government building in the South Vietnam. It is similar to the White House. Thus, when the palace was taken over, it signified the end of the war. Now, the palace represents the unity between the north and south of Vietnam.

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