Today we began our day with a tour of the Cat Lai Terminal! The Cat Lai Terminal is one of the largest shipping ports in Vietnam. This port is located near Ho Chi Minh City and exports massive amounts of products. Although the port exports more than imports, it also imports products. The terminal exports and imports a variety of different types of shipping containers and services a variety of boat types. Containers must pass through on-site customs unless they are pre-approved at certain industrial parks. When containers pass through customs, they are subject to an x-ray and sometimes physical inspections. Due to the terminal’s location on a river, the port can only accommodate smaller vessels. Large vessels must split their cargo onto smaller boats before it can come to this port.
Cat Lai Terminal stores, exports, and imports cargo. The port takes responsibility for any damage that results from damage to the shipping container, but if the product becomes damaged and the container is undamaged, the port does not take any responsibility. The port carries both refrigerated cargo and regular cargo. The company uses digital software to map out the location, customs status, and details of each container. The Cat Lai Terminal is strategically located and designed. Although there are other ports in Vietnam, Cat Lai and nearby ports are responsible for the large majority of Vietnam’s exports and imports.
In the afternoon, we took a tour of the Reunification Palace. During the Vietnam War, the palace was called the Presidential Palace, and it housed the president of South Vietnam. The building was bombed and eventually invaded by the northern army. The palace is beautiful and restored. Everything still remains preserved in its original state. After the palace tour, we paid for our suits and then we went out to get Korean Barbecue with the Vietnamese students. It was a delicious meal and a great way to end a long but interesting day.