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Monday, July 26, 2021

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  • Far East Maritime (375) (X)

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Financial crisis saved lines from even deeper trouble

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

Container volumes cascading out of Asia in the mid-2000s were growing at somewhere around 10 percent a year. The carriers were ordering new ships as fast as possible as they frantically chased after market share. Hindsight is a wonderful thing…

Vietnam ports step deeper into shipping hub waters

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

Vietnam’s terminals on the Cai Mep River south of Ho Chi Minh City have just passed another milestone – Maersk Line has announced that it will add another direct call using 10,000 TEU vessels. When the Mathilde Maersk calls at the port of Vung…

Hutch ports rebound even as boss gets a huge phone bill

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

How about this for a jaw-dropping piece of info: The cumulative losses racked up by Hutchison Whampoa’s 3G telecommunications unit since 2002 are an incredible US$20 billion. That's 10 zeroes. Several countries in Africa can only dream of seeing an 11-figure number in their GDP reports.

Beijing busy securing its bulk supply chain

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

Chinese steel giant Baoshan Iron & Steel Co (Baosteel) this week announced the launching of its first very large ore carrier. The 230,000 dwt Renda slid out of CSSC Guangzhou Longxue Shipbuilding, a new yard in Guangdong’s provincial capital.

In these negotiations, neither side can afford to give in

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

Shippers want space guarantees and better service this time around, while the carriers want better freight rates. The problem is that container lines are trying to maintain a balance between supply of capacity and market demand. It is a delicate…

Manufacturers moan as South China’s minimum wage takes a hike

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

There’s some good news and bad news from China this week. The good news is that the minimum wage in Guangdong Province will rise by 21 percent from May. The bad news is that the minimum wage in Guangdong Province will rise by 21 percent from May.

Terror alert exposes vulnerability of Malacca Strait

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

The Straits of Malacca link Asia with the Middle East and Europe. If there was any east-meets-west maritime point, it is this 900km mile stretch of waterway. Around 40 percent of the world’s trade passes down this narrow strip. For Beijing,…

China exports set for decade-long growth

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on March 11, 2010

Nevertheless, for a country that makes everything, it was hardly surprising to learn that China is now the world’s top exporter. Even though the mainland’s exports fell by 16 percent in 2009, those of the former world number one, Germany, fell even further.

Those darn customers of ours are to blame, says MSC boss

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

When Mediterranean Shipping Company’s Caroline Becquart blasted shipper criticism of liner practices at a recent transpacific conference, it seemed out of character for a line that traditionally shuns the media spotlight. However, her response…

Simmering tensions between shippers and carriers erupt in Long Beach

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on March 4, 2010

This year, shippers are furious and it is easy to see why. They have been struggling to deal with constant freight rate hikes, peak season surcharges, bunker surcharges, emergency bunker surcharges, emergency revenue charges, cargo being rolled…

Not every port in Indonesia deserves to be a hub

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

Not so fast, said the Indonesian government. That is way too many. Instead, the trade ministry suggested at a recent seminar in Jakarta that each province should have an international port. But with 33 provinces, that is still about 28 ports too many.

Labour issues threaten to hold back Chinese exports

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

China expects exports to grow by eight percent this year, but the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology warned on its website that there may be problems getting exports back to pre-crisis levels “in the short term”. Those problems…

Trumpeting year-on-year growth an annoying practice this time around

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

Ports and terminal operators across China are showing some impressive year-on-year container throughput growth for January. The problem is that in January last year the container throughput arrow at the ports in question was heading in the same direction as a downhill skier in Vancouver…

Shanghai immigration flies into helpful mode

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on February 18, 2010

When it comes to China’s immigration procedures, the word “efficiency” seldom springs to mind. Anyone who has landed at Shanghai Pudong airport along with a couple of other flights will attest to this. But long and slow-moving queues are only the sharp end of the irritation.

Forget boxes – it was bulkers that enabled globalization

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

A study by Dutch research outfit Dynamar makes an interesting point. Container shipping companies are generally credited with carrying the goods that enabled the trading network to span the globe. Yet even though the products the box boats carry are made…

No frills container carrier lining up for launch

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on February 11, 2010

Neptune Orient Lines just reported a loss of US$741 million for 2009. China Shipping Container Lines is expected to soon announce a loss of US$1 billion. Other results will begin to trickle in but no carrier handling containers will have done well last year.

First lesson in Shipping 101 – how to annoy your customers

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

When the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) sees a fall in demand pulling down the price of crude, it limits production from members to try to force the price up. This causes much gnashing of teeth around the world, as everyone…

Space at a premium as lines put rates and utilization first

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on February 4, 2010

China has long churned out whatever the world wants, its cheap and unlimited labour source enabling factories to produce goods far cheaper than anywhere else. In January, China certainly lived up to its moniker as factory of the world, with manufacturing production increasing at a near-record rate…

Bulking up the China business

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

The balance between growth in the dry bulk shipping market and the growth of its vessel fleet has set up the business for a couple of highly profitable years. According to an investment bank, demand for dry bulk shipping will increase eight to nine percent this year…

Transpacific carriers have painted themselves into a tight corner

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

One of two things could happen this year as the US limps out of its recession, and both will directly impact the fortunes of container shipping lines on the transpacific. The word, “fortunes”, should probably not be used in the same sentence as container lines…