Transportation and Logistics.
The region's strategic freight transport needs are met by the inland waterways and the road system.
There is a significant inter-relationship among the inland waterway network triangle formed by the MD, greater HCMC, and Ba Ria-Vung Tau. A considerable portion of the Delta’s agricultural output is processed in HCMC, and a significant part of delta-related trade and transportation is run from there. Ba Ria-Vung Tau has a range of deep water port facilities, located at Cai Mep-Thi Vai, that are expected to become the main seaport of greater HCMC. Yet, the exact nature of the movement of freight in this economically-critical triangle, which is characterized by an intricate network of rivers, canals, local roads, national roads, and coastal routes, is poorly understood due to a general lack of quantitative measuring of actual freight flows.
Despite its economic significance, the delta faces several challenges if it is to sustain its track record of growth, job creation, and export origination going forward. Many of the region’s main transport arteries and nodes across modes suffer from supply-demand mismatches in infrastructure provision and service delivery. These have primarily resulted from sustained underinvestment in capital and maintenance expenditures for the waterways and road links, and from fragmentation in decision and policy making to better integrate and promote the efficiency of logistics operations in greater HCMC, particularly as to more effectively linking it with the Mekong Delta and the gateway province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau.
Most inland waterway transport activities in the delta and greater HCMC area utilize a combination of major river channels - the Mekong, Bassac, Soai Rap, and Dong Nai rivers - and purposefully built canals. While the delta's waterway network is vast and intricate, a select number of key canals, which have less freight-carrying capacity and are more exposed to siltation than the main river channels, have increasingly become bottlenecks for supply chains linking Tien Giang, Long An, Binh Duong, Dong Nai, and Ba Ria-Vung Tau provinces.