Vietnam's major seaports and shipping fleetVietnam benefits from a long coastline that borders the Gulf of Thailand, the South China Sea, and the Gulf of Tonkin. The country had the second-highest number of international ports in ASEAN after the Philippines. There are three main port cities along its coastline – Hai Phong in the North, Ho Chi Minh City in the South, and Da Nang in the central region. Among the leading container ports based on cargo capacity in Asia, Ho Chi Minh City port handles the largest share of cargo throughput in Vietnam. Meanwhile, the northern port of Hai Phong is a major port for international container traffic. The Hai Phong International Container Terminal (HICT) was opened in May 2018 and can accommodate larger container ships, reducing time and cost for shipments to northern Vietnam. With its strategic location, Da Nang port manages cargo in the central region and connects Vietnam to Myanmar, Thailand, and Laos.
Vietnam is also one of the leading shipowners in the world, with a shipping fleet of 959 national-flagged vessels and 167 international-flagged vessels in 2022. In that year, the dead-weight tonnage of its fleet was also among the highest in the Asia Pacific region. Additionally, Vietnam has an expanding shipbuilding sector with growing capacity in recent years.