How Vietnam’s rental market rebounded from Covid

By Euan Youdale05 November 2021

Vietnam has suffered from long Covid shutdowns, but despite that it could be poised to become a major MEWP rental market, reports Euan Youdale, Editor of Access International.

Leading the way in Vietnam’s access rental market is Tuyet Nga Group of Companies (TNC), which also has plans to invest in other rental equipment, like gensets and air compressors in the future.

Established in 1995, TNC has three main depots in Hanoi, Da Nang and Hochiminh City, and service stations in Vung Tau and Hai Phong provinces.

The company started in the MEWP business in 1999, and as Tran Kim Dzung, the owner, founder and President of the group, says, it was the first company to bring aerial platforms to Vietnam.

Tran Kim Dzung, owner, founder and president, Tuyet Nga Group of Companies (TNC).

It became the official dealer of Genie for Vietnam in 2001 and launched its rental business in 2007. Its 850-unit fleet is comprised exclusively of Terex machines, including Genie boom lifts, slab and rough terrain scissors, telehandlers, plus lighting towers. In addition, there are a few small cranes.

As Ms Duzng explains, the plan is to expand the access fleet over the next five years years to 2,000 units, depending on how the market develops.

TNC’s fleet increases
There are currently no standards to ensure equipment is in good working order, resulting in greater emphasis on price. Nevertheless, Duzng believes the government will introduce working at height standards to ensure aerial platforms meet quality and safety checks before use, leading to its wider adoption.

From the 40 units in TNC’s original 2007 fleet, the total Vietnamese access rental fleet has grown to approximately 6,000 aerial platforms including new and very old machines, across many brands. There are now around 30 rental companies in the country specialising in access.

There are also a small number of international operators in the country, including Nishio Rent All Vietnam, UMAC, Korea Rental IS; while AJ Networks closed its access division in Vietnam two years ago.

Expanding applications

Currently, more than 90% of demand for access equipment comes from large civil engineering projects and industrial maintenance. Madame Duzng says residential construction is bound to follow but at the moment it is built using low cost labour and traditional forms of access equipment.

All this potential, however, has been put on hold by the pandemic’s strict lockdowns.

“If the Vietnam government does not improve the situation and change its reaction to Covid-19, and open the economy, rather than having strict lockdowns, like they are doing at the moment, the FDI will drop more in the next year, and the investors will switch their investment to other countries.”

Rate challenges

It will come as little surprise that rental rates in 2020 and 2021 have been hit. “If we invest in new machines with this current price, we will need seven to nine years to break even. Ms Duzng adds, “The newer machines are now renting out at the same price as very old machines.”

Genies at the Imperial City is a walled enclosure within the citadel of the city of Huế, the former imperial capital of Vietnam.

In fact, rates have been decreasing continuously over the last three years by 10%-20% annually, depending on the machine. This is due to Covid-related factors, but there is another that pre-dates the pandemic – old equipment, a challenge only solvable with future foreign investment.

On a positive note, growth in the Vietnamese access market appears inevitable as the economy bounces back and demand moves to powered access, rather than scaffolding.

“We will continue with our plan to make our fleet younger by selling old and buying new,” she says, adding that the company also plans to invest in other rental equipment, like gensets and air compressors, along with new facilities, promising further dynamism for Vietnam’s rental sector.

This article is an edited version of Euan Youdale’s interview in the October 2021 edition of Access International.

To view where the opportunities are in the Thai rental space, click here. 

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