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Sunday, July 25, 2021

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  • Far East Maritime (375) (X)

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Don't sue the ferryman unless he comes up with another price

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on September 2, 2010

The word, “unsustainable”, was heard a lot last year, usually muttered by container shipping line execs every time someone mentioned freight rates. This was of course on the transpacific trade that is governed by shipper contracts negotiated annually.

Plans to ‘quadruple’ PTP throughput off to a poor start

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on August 31, 2010

The Malaysian port of Tanjung Pelepas certainly started with a bang. Shortly after the port opened in 2000 it managed to reel in Maersk, which moved a large part of its Southeast Asian operations over from Singapore. Maersk was unhappy at its…

Highs and lows of shipping cycles measured in billions

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on August 26, 2010

A couple of years ago after NOL posted a net profit of somewhere around US$300 million, I asked their media guy Paul Barrett how, with such a tidy sum in the bank, the line could justify the need to impose “rate restorations”. “Aren’t shipping…

Ore-some imports to resume as China gets back to business

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on August 24, 2010

How is this for a statistic: Construction accounts for 70 percent of China’s steel consumption. That means that of the 361.2 million tonnes of mainland ore imports in the first seven months of the year, 252.8 million tonnes were used in construction.

Why the obsession with Hong Kong versus Singapore?

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on August 19, 2010

A few weeks ago, Hong Kong shipping tycoon George Chao called on the government to appoint a shipping minister and to start taking the maritime industry seriously, just like they do in Singapore. That idea was met by silence from the HK government…

Getting supply and demand right not always good for carriers

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on August 17, 2010

So what is going on in the major trades? Forwarders say there has been no peak season and container lines are heading for some major overcapacity because of excess tonnage being brought in from lay-up and from newbuilding deliveries. Shipping lines…

Short, sharp services an alternative to slow steaming lines

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on August 12, 2010

There are interesting things happening on the transpacific container trade. Two new services are about to be launched, one by mainland line Hainan Pan Ocean Shipping and the second by US carrier Matson Line. According to the UK-based PR News Service…

Beijing battling to rid provinces of graft

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on August 10, 2010

This may not be strictly maritime business, but the mainland’s economic performance has a direct result on trade. And the Bureau of Stats seldom disappoints, at least from a comedic perspective. Those who actually depend on the authenticity…

Asia lines celebrate profitability but wary of last-quarter slowdown

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on August 5, 2010

Visibility appears to extend into late September then dissolves into a murky and scary final three months in the run up to Christmas. By the end of September, most of the retailers will be stocked up for the year-end party and the carriers are worried that demand will fall away sharply.

Latest air security requirement may be a boon for lines

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on July 27, 2010

It doesn’t take much for shippers to switch certain types of cargo from air to ocean. Soaring fuel prices and the resultant surcharges will do it. Or a shortage of space. But the greatest disruption to air freight comes in the shape of delays.

Why build port capacity when your market share is falling

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on July 26, 2010

Hong Kong does not need a bridge linking the city to Macau and to Zhuhai on the mainland. But it is getting one at a cost of US$6 billion. Hong Kong does not need a high-speed rail link to Shenzhen. But it is getting one at a cost of US$8.5 billion.

Fragile recovery may be swamped by new cascade of capacity

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on July 22, 2010

Some of the world’s carriers may find that by the end of the year, with profitability tantalisingly close, a massive influx of new capacity will have rudely jerked them back, wiped the black smudges off their fingers and hosed them down with red ink. At least it will be familiar territory.

China’s ports racing to the top

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on July 20, 2010

The truth is that in actual container number terms, the port lost the race long ago. Around 95 percent of Singapore’s container volume is transhipment cargo passing through. The boxes are lifted off one arriving ship and placed on another that is departing.

It will take more than a financial crisis to sink the world’s top lines

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on July 16, 2010

Over at Rickmers, boss Bertram Rickmers reckons consolidation in the container shipping industry is “inevitable”. We have been hearing of this inevitable consolidation ever since the global financial crisis began, but even in the depth of the GFC the world’s top lines kept on sailing.

So what happened to that box shortage?

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on July 13, 2010

Just last week we were lamenting the dire shortages of containers frustrating shippers and driving up prices. Then late last week, Maersk issued a surprising announcement that turned our theory on its head. The Danish giant said it was delaying its record-breaking peak season surcharge for 15 days.

Rising wages not a problem for China’s high-end manufacturers

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on July 9, 2010

As the cost of manufacturing in China rises, you would expect factories in places like the Pearl River Delta would start working smarter. Foxconn, quietly getting on with the business until it began raining workers, employs 800,000 people in its China plants…

Record box prices set to stay as demand way outstrips supply

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on July 6, 2010

In a normal year (normal being a year when consumers actually consume things), the world's two main box makers make 3.5 million boxes. Last year, Singamas Container Holdings and the market leading China International Marine Containers (CIC) produced just 220…

Accept increases in carrier charges because they ain’t going away

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on July 1, 2010

While there is plenty of room to argue against the host of surcharges imposed by the container shipping lines, there is no question that the carriers’ costs are going up. The scary part, at least for their customers, is that their costs will never come down.

Container lines heading for ‘epic’ rate war, says furious shipper

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on June 29, 2010

The rapid rise of freight rates and peak season surcharges (PSS) this year has been stunning. Drewry reckons rates on the transpacific have risen 180 percent in the last 12 months, which even from a low base is an incredible increase. With the…

Hong Kong’s loss is Shenzen’s gain, and vice versa

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on June 24, 2010

Not in any business sense, anyway. Maybe inter-departmental competition, like the accounts department versus the operations division on the annual company sports day. Because the same companies basically own the terminals on both sides of the fence.