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Wednesday, November 25, 2020

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  • Far East Maritime (375) (X)

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No point racing big carriers to the bottom

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on October 27, 2011

Spot rates on the transpacific and freight rates on Asia-Europe have almost hit two-year lows and are likely to plunge even further, which is bad news if you own a container shipping line. Zero freight won’t be offered by the carriers’ sales people…

Top three driving Asia-Europe rates into the sea bed

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on October 26, 2011

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.

Trying to find the new normal

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on October 19, 2011

The National Retail Federation believes retail cargo is back to normal and imports should reach their highest level in October as retailers stock up for the holiday season. October has always been the historical peak season, although over the…

Reach as important as depth when handling the ultras

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on October 13, 2011

When container shipping is raised at any gathering of industry people, the issue of overcapacity is usually the number one topic. The amount of available container capacity is a big deal, of course, and the glut in supply is depressing freight rates on the major east-west trades.

China-bashing season opens as US politics hots up

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on October 11, 2011

In 2010, trade between China and the US reached US$456 billion, up 25 percent over the previous year. And yet before the US Senate is legislation that will impose tariffs on imports from countries that manipulate their currencies. By “countries” the US means China…

When is a Hong Kong manufacturer not a Hong Kong manufacturer?

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on October 4, 2011

The Hong Kong Toys Manufacturers Association was this week complaining that falling orders from the European Union and the US will leave factory owners facing a bleak Christmas. The expectation is that toy exports will be down about 25 percent this year…

Hong Kong’s port began its slow but inexorable decline years ago

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on September 27, 2011

A delegation of the Hong Kong Logistics Development Council returned recently from a tour to New York where they sprouted the usual cheerleading guff. The message was that Hong Kong was still relevant and the main gateway to China, and Doris Cheung…

Cosco Busan bridge spill claims finally settled

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on September 21, 2011

On a foggy November night in 2007, the Cosco Busan hit the bridge with its port bow, spilling 200,000 litres of fuel oil into the San Francisco Bay. It was one of the worst oil spills in California. Far more destructive than organic crude oil…

Reliable container shipping? Who would have thought ...

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on September 20, 2011

Maersk Line boss Eivind Kolding rolled into Hong Kong on Monday for the Asian launch of the carrier’s new Daily Maersk service that will start officially on October 24. The service offers customers fixed daily cut offs between the Asian ports of Yantian…

Creaking port infrastructure threatens US economy

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on September 14, 2011

When a college kid hears a knocking noise coming from his engine, he usually has two options: Crank up the music, or let the problem develop. Either option will save him money. In the short term, at least. Of course, eventually his engine will break down and if he is lucky…

Security cost is the legacy of September 11

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on September 7, 2011

On a bright September morning in New York 10 years ago, transportation’s age of innocence came to a crashing end. From that point on, the efficient transport of passengers and cargo from country to country vanished, replaced by costly and cumbersome security systems that continue to frustrate.

'Customary' to put out the hat for Friday collections

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on September 2, 2011

Every Friday afternoon at 3pm, a bunch of officials from the Bureau of Customs meet in the port of Manila to collect their bribes from businessmen keen to "expedite" the release of their imports. This, according to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, is an open secret in the Customs bureau.

Build too much and not enough will come

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on August 31, 2011

But when you build it, they don’t always come, or if they do, they take their sweet time about it. Maybe if the quote was applied to Asia’s ports and took into account market realities it could have been: “If you build it, they will come, unless there is surplus capacity in the market…

Intra-Asia trade will shrug off western woes

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on August 26, 2011

Intra-Asia is the world’s biggest market, an immense network of complex supply chains linking countries. It has consistently given the container shipping industry good returns, even as demand slows on the major east-west trades. This year it is predicted that the trade will handle 22 million TEUs…

Problems begin to stack up for China’s ports

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on August 23, 2011

Three serious obstacles stand in the way of China ports’ growth in the next few years: Slowing demand for exports, poor to non-existent rail connections between ports and factories forced to move inland, and a shallow Yangtze River. With the US and Europe struggling to work out their debt issues…

Pain of China factories to spread along supply chain

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on August 18, 2011

“Forget raising factory gate prices; manufacturers are lucky if they have new orders,” said a China cap making factory executive in a South China Morning Post report on how exporters were being squeezed. The strengthening yuan and slowing demand…

Anti-pirate strike by seafarers not a good idea

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on August 12, 2011

Seaman’s unions from Hong Kong, China, the Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam and even Russia all agreed that their seafarers had the right to refuse to board ships sailing through high-risk pirate areas. A vote was taken at the Asian…

Rough ride for Hutch after record profits

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on August 4, 2011

A quick glance at Hutchison Whampoa’s half-year results is breathtaking. Figuratively speaking, of course (if financial results actually take your breath away we suggest you increase your medication). But sober or stoned, the results are impressive…

Box maker with the Midas touch

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on August 16, 2011

In the dark and desperate days of 2009 when the global financial crisis brought trade to a standstill, the world’s two main container makers stopped making containers. Between China International Marine Containers and Singamas Container Holdings…

Hard to beat the gloom as lines ponder second half

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on August 9, 2011

“We don’t see the first half being any better than the first half.” With the way the global markets are reacting to the ratings downgrade of the US, that statement by Orient Overseas (International) Ltd CFO Ken Cambie is almost a positive one.