Getting in ship shape!

Have you ever been to a shipping port? I certainly hadn’t before visiting Cat Lai today. For one, I had never seen those cranes that are specifically designed to lift up shipping containers. Can I just say? Utterly cool to watch, but also, a little terrifying! I would be so worried to operate one of those things. I’m glad there are professionals who are skilled and would never drop the claw arm into innocent American college students passing by.

Previously, we learned that imports and exports are 200% of Vietnam’s economy. If you’ve seen Vietnam on a map, you know that Vietnam has 3.3 thousand kilometers of coastline. From that, it’s easy to conclude that shipping is vital to Vietnam’s GDP. That’s why visiting Cat Lai and speaking to representatives from Saigon Newport Corporation was so interesting. There, we got a hands-on look at how containers are brought in, stored, managed, and then properly distributed to their owners. 

One of the ways SNP has improved their port’s efficiency is through IT application. Through software introduced to their operations in 2008 and 2015, SNP is able to better manage important data such as container info and fee collection. In addition, SNP is able to view their data in real time. They even have an app to track the locations of specific shipping containers! I found this integration of high-tech processes into Cat Lai so interesting as I was able to connect it back to what we’ve learned previously. As Vietnam focuses its economy more on technology to become more competitive on a global market, I wonder how SNP’s technology will improve! One of the future trends of the shipping industry is the 4.0 industrial revolution — how will that directly affect Cat Lai? I’m afraid that I can’t even speculate about what that future would look like, as I still know so little about the shipping industry. Personally, I think those shipping-container-hauling-cranes would look even cooler if they flew. That’s just me, though.

After Cat Lai, we visited the Reunification Palace. It was so interesting to learn about the history behind the previous government of South Vietnam. Even more stunning was to see the context behind that historic photo.

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