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Tuesday, December 1, 2020

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  • Far East Maritime (375) (X)

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Business as usual for container carriers as 2013 oozes in

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on January 2, 2013

So, 2013 is here and off we go. No East Coast dockworker strike to put the brakes on the improving port business and no fiscal cliff jumping to snatch money out of US consumer’s pockets. Yet even as the effects of the champagne and gluehwein wear off, not much has changed.

US East Coast cannot go wrong

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on December 6, 2012

The Panama Canal expansion that will be completed in 2014 (or maybe 2015) is often regarded as the game changer in Asia-US container trade. It will change the way Asia trades with the US, but not in the way most people think. Most cargo that…

LA-Long Beach strike comes at a dangerous time for the ports

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on December 5, 2012

It looks like there may be an end in sight to the strike that has entered its eighth day, which is just as well considering the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach handle around 1.3 million TEUs a month. After an all-night bargaining session…

No safety net for mainland workers hurt on duty

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on December 1, 2012

When it comes to shocking statistics, China is the undisputed heavyweight champion. Take these stats in a South China Morning Post report called “Maimed in China” that looked at worker safety in the Factory of the World. According to a Shenzhen research outfit…

Hong Kong port’s days are numbered

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on November 28, 2012

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…

December GRIs must stick or lines will be off to a bleak start

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on November 22, 2012

The general rates increases carriers hope to implement from December 15 are flooding in. Container lines on transpacific and Asia-Europe/Mediterranean trades have announced plans to hike rates and will be vigorously pursuing the proposed figures, generally around US$550-650 per TEU.

So much supply, so little demand

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on November 20, 2012

Freight rates can always go up, the fuel price can always come down, but once delivered, a container ship immediately becomes a hole in the water that has to be filled with money. With shipping line profitability a cruel joke and such economic…

London Gateway gets its marketing machine moving

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on November 15, 2012

There is a map produced by London Gateway that draws a line through England from just above the Thames estuary to just north of Liverpool. South of the line is the area claimed by London Gateway where is maintains 78 percent of the market lies.

China should be steeling itself for a fall, not boosting output

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on November 13, 2012

China’s economy is slowing with the GDP figures revised to 7.5 percent by Beijing a couple of months ago. Many banks expect the country to slow even further as industrial output falters and domestic consumption weakens. Yet incredibly, production this year has hit new heights…

Chongqing hub hype ends as cargo volumes fall

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on November 10, 2012

Chongqing is regularly described as the largest city in the world. The municipality is effectively a province of its own, one of three such municipalities in the country, and home to anything from 35 to 45 million people. In the past few years…

Wary buyers at top China fair raise export fears

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on November 6, 2012

Official statistics from the Canton Fair show deals worth US$32.7 billion were signed during the three-week event held in Guangzhou every year. It sounds like an impressive figure, but is the lowest in two years and almost 10 percent below the value of deals reached last year.

China looks inwards as export demand remains weak

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on October 25, 2012

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.

Time to fast track containerised rail transport

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on October 24, 2012

The carrying of containers by rail has received such a low priority in China over the last few years that only one percent of the boxes now carried from ports goes by track. That is hardly a surprise. China’s GDP has been growing at such a rapid…

Not every container carrier thinks with its orderbook

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on October 19, 2012

Picture the scene: An unshaven container shipping line executive sits hunched over the company’s orderbook, beads of sweat smudging the number-filled columns. He reaches out with a pen in his trembling hand then abruptly shoves the book off the table.

Domestic shipping deal sparks new talk of Cosco, CSCL merger

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on October 16, 2012

China’s two biggest container carriers, China Cosco and China Shipping Container Line (CSCL), are no strangers to bloody balance sheets. In the first half, China Cosco posted a loss of US$207 million, compared with a $151 million loss a year earlier.

Hong Kong wheezes past golden opportunity to clean deadly port air

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on October 4, 2012

In Hong Kong, a five-year study found that 385 deaths were as a direct result of the sulphur dioxide emissions from ships calling at the port, with 3.8 million people threatened by long-term exposure to the toxic air. As one of the world’s busiest ports…

No fast answers to Hong Kong's fatal ferry crash

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on October 3, 2012

Hong Kong woke up on Tuesday morning to the horrifying news that at least 24 people had been killed and dozens injured following the ferry collision. That figure quickly rose to 38 as more bodies were pulled from the sunken Lamma IV ferry that went down after the crash.

No winners with supply and demand well out of synch

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on September 26, 2012

Something that continues to amaze is a disconnect in the container shipping line industry between ship capacity and demand. Why is it not possible to achieve a better balance? Some of the brightest minds in the business have grappled with the…

Drive to cut costs may push shipping into the clouds

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on September 21, 2012

Maersk Line recently signed a US$150 million cloud computing deal with HP. In the five-year agreement, the Danish carrier will use HP’s cloud-enabled data centers and HP Workplace Services in what is known as an “instant-on enterprise”. Yes, that made no sense to me, either.

Slowing China exports eroding positive outlook

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on September 14, 2012

China is heading for its weakest year of expansion since 1999. The trade surplus widened in August to US$26.7 billion as imports turned an expected 3.5 percent rise into a fall of 2.5 percent year on year. Exports just missed forecasts, growing…