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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

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  • Far East Maritime (375) (X)

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Improving business for carriers is costly for their customers

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on June 23, 2010

How about Maersk’s record peak season surcharge of US$750 per TEU, $1,000 per FEU and $1,200 high-cube boxes on westbound Asia-Northern Europe service from 15 July. Nice revenue, if they can get it. The impressive surcharge unsurprisingly has shippers throwing their toys around…

China buys Greece, adds it to growing country portfolio

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

No purchase price was given, but Chinese officials said they had paid “billions of dollars” for the debt-stricken Mediterranean country earlier this week. Okay, that’s not exactly how it went down, but it may as well have been. Bad jokes aside…

China is its own low-cost supplier

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

For the last decade, China has mostly contributed a never-ending stream of cheap migrant labourers willing to work for very little. These millions of workers have been poured into factories making anything from cheap toys and garments to silicon chips and motherboards.

Hard to break the cycle of gloom in the box business

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

The mood at the Transport Logistic show in Shanghai this week was not exactly upbeat, which seemed to be at odds with China's fast recovering exports. In May, the mainland recorded a 50 percent increase in exports over the previous year, and…

Sourcing from China is no zero sum game

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

Every couple of years, the subject comes up. The rising cost of labour in China threatens the low-cost model and will force manufacturers to relocate to other, cheaper Asian countries, such as Vietnam, India or Indonesia. The Foxconn suicides and the company’s subsequent pay rises of 65 percent…

Container carriers just can’t seem to predict diddley

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on June 3, 2010

In the last few months, those desperate prayers were answered. Consumers in the US and Europe unleashed their wallets and the factory orders started rolling in. And now the wheels are starting to come off. Here’s what happened. As market demand began to rise…

Too much of a good thing can sometimes be a bad thing

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

The terminals around Ho Chi Minh handled 90 percent of southern Vietnam’s 3.6 million TEUs last year. By 2012, that total will have jumped to almost five million boxes. Vietnam has quickly emerged as a major manufacturer as shippers with heavy…

Slow steaming starting to tick off the big shippers

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

Out-of-control bunker fuel prices and overcapacity pushed container lines into the practice of slowing down their vessels on long haul trades. It all started around 2008 but by the end of last year, pretty much everyone was doing it. The huge savings in fuel could not be ignored…

Singapore slick an inevitable consequence of being Asia’s gas station

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on May 25, 2010

If your port is at the confluence of the busiest sea lanes in the world, if it is the world’s largest refuelling port and the biggest oil storage centre in Asia, there is a lot of crude and bunker fuel floating around. So when there is an accident at sea…

Time to put a stop to North Korean nonsense

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on May 21, 2010

The South Korean government earlier this week received some good news and some bad news. The good news is that South Korea never shot and sank its own patrol ship on March 26. The bad news is that North Korea did. South Korean military investigators…

Container carriers make a comeback

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

Anyone who ever questioned the cyclic nature of the global container shipping business should take a look at some of the latest liner results. Even Maersk, the market leading, market-share chasing giant has managed to stack up some impressive…

All signs point toward an Asia-Europe peak season rates war

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on May 14, 2010

Freight rates on the Asia-Europe trade have been rising steadily in the past few months as demand overtakes the supply of container slots. The space shortage is artificial and a result of ships in lay-up, but even so, rising revenue in the box…

Wanted: Floating mine to bail out South Korea

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

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak told party officials this week that when the investigation into the sinking of the warship, Cheonan, is complete, its findings “will be accepted by China”. This, apparently, was big news. Lee said China would be notified when the results were in and…

Supply and demand is a two-way street

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on April 30, 2010

China manufactures everything. Or just about. But the problem with making everything is that you need masses of raw materials with which to make it. This is where China needs the world, and nowhere is the country more dependent on foreign suppliers…

Will the Korea who blew up that warship please report to the principal’s office

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

South Korea’s government believes it was a torpedo that blew up and sank its warship near the border with North Korea last month. The 1,200-tonne Cheonan was blown in two on March 26 by an “external explosion”, according to an investigation…

China carriers join billion dollar club

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

Just when you thought the worst was over for the container shipping business, along comes China Cosco Holdings and China Shipping Container Lines announcing that they lost US$1 billion dollars each last year. Why the results are released four…

Aren’t you glad not to be in Asia-Europe air freight

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on April 21, 2010

But could something happen that would shut down most of the ports in continental USA? The answer is yes, but the cause will be no natural disaster. Hurricane Katrina closed New Orleans and many of the Gulf ports and those on the eastern seaboard are regularly threatened by hurricanes.

Criminalisation of seafarers is the easy way out

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on April 15, 2010

Australians take protection of the environment very seriously. So when the Chinese senior officer steamed his 750-foot bulk carrier into the country’s most treasured possession at full speed, there was always going to be trouble. But is it right…

Ever cautious Evergreen throws caution to the wind

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

The world’s top 20 container lines have a total of 3.6 million TEU capacity currently on order, according to research outfit Alphaliner. That’s 451 vessels that will be delivered in the next couple of years. In an industry that is being buried by overcapacity, that’s not such a good thing.

Another day, another Hong Kong port snafu

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on April 8, 2010

Hong Kong’s fearless leader Donald Tsang has just returned from a trip to Beijing to kiss the boss’ ring and receive pledges of cooperation with the city’s mainland neighbours in Guangdong Province. The only items we are interested in are pledges…