Despite the fact that the macroeconomic picture across the globe currently looks bleak for this year - Vietnam's main export partners, the US, China and Japan, are all set to suffer slowdowns during 2012 - Vietnam's freight transport industry appears to be heading towards a period of sustained healthy growth in the mid term. The country's nickname of the 'factory of Asia' - a reputation based on the country's booming exports, which have buoyed the freight sector - still stands, although exports are set to be adversely affected by the predicted 'hard landing' in China this year, as well as a weak eurozone. Leading the way in terms of annual growth in 2012 will be the road sector, which is set for 6.97% growth. Taking second spot by mode will be air freight, with 5.72% growth predicted, while rail freight will also enjoy healthy growth of 5.29%. Inland waterways will perform well this year, with annual growth forecast to come in at 5.11%. Meanwhile, the maritime sector will be led by the port of Ho Chi Minh City, which is expected to see very healthy tonnage throughput rates not only in 2012 but in the mid term also.