With 16 of 24 Kwai Tsing container terminal berths, the world’s biggest port operator has just Modern Terminals and one berth at CT3 to go before it can convert the entire Kwai Tsing container port into prime waterfront real estate when the sun inevitably sets on the Hong Kong box shipping business.
Way back in the mists of 2004, the government of Hong Kong released its Port Masterplan: 2020. The plan, compiled by consultants GHK, took a comprehensive look at the port and its needs over the next couple of decades. Naturally the government watered down the first draft…
China became known as the world’s factory by offering manufacturing costs that could not be matched by the developed nations. Its wages paid to uneducated rural migrant labour were a fraction of the mostly unionized pay required in the West, and land for factories was plentiful and cheap.
Working out supply and demand is a tricky business at the best of times, so trying to predict the container shipping market a year or two in advance is as good as sucking a thumb and writing down the first thing that comes to mind. Looking at an Alphaliner chart of current vs ordered ships…
We asked the question last week that retailers in the US and Europe must surely be ready to put in last minute orders to restock their inventories before the Christmas buying season starts in earnest. Yesterday we received the answer, from the US, at least.
Looking at the container shipping rates, it seems that for a carrier to even achieve zero rate would be an improvement. The bunker adjustment factors being charged are more than the rate per TEU, which means the lines are paying shippers to transport their cargo.
It may seem we harp on about China’s changing manufacturing industry, but that's because of its direct impact on export ocean cargo and the import of raw materials. All the stuff we consume has to be made somewhere, and the mainland has pretty much cornered the manufacturing market.