Today we had our last site visit. This one was different from the others because every other company we visited, a group from Plus3 Vietnam is doing a final presentation on them. Our morning started out with our bus being late to pick us up then an hour or so drive to the Cat Lai Terminal for the site visit. When I heard we were going to see a shipping port, I was less than thrilled since I didn’t believe learning about shipping ports would keep my attention. My mood quickly changed when I saw giant machinery easily moving shipping containers like they were as light as Legos. Watching all the parts in motion, such as taking the containers off the barges to putting them on trucks to moving them to designated storage positions, looked strangely graceful in how everything worked together. When the tour guide informed us that the Cat Lai Terminal is the Best Seaport Operator in Vietnam, I was surprised to know that we were seeing the best of the best when it came to shipping. In Vietnam, the seaport network includes 272 terminals and 45 seaports, many more than I expected. Vietnam is handling more and more exports and imports every year thus being shown by the Cat Lai Terminal’s average container throughput is 8.42% and increasing. With an increasing number of shipments coming through the terminal, their package operating system has been developed to easily know where each specific container is at every point of its time in Vietnam. The image below shows a brief view of their system.
After visiting the Cat Lai terminal, we went straight to the Reunification Palace. Prior to the Vietnam War, this is where the President and First Lady lived and hosted meetings and guests. During the war, meetings discussing war strategies were held in rooms with maps covering the walls. Not only was there a bomb shelter beneath the palace, there were two; the second, deeper shelter was able to withstand more damage than the first layer. The most interesting part of the palace was the rooms dedicated to communications and war discussions since they had the most interesting technology and maps.