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Tuesday, December 1, 2020

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  • Far East Maritime (375) (X)

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When it comes to sinking cruise ships, size matters

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on January 17, 2012

Making money in shipping is all about economies of scale. Once the rates have been secured, the profitable operating of a giant vessel is simply a result of reducing unit costs. By bringing down the cost per unit, a shipping company improves the margin of profit it earns on each unit.

What the ... Chinese New Year already?

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

January 23 will be Lunar New Year’s day, a time that has been celebrated ever since the year 14 BC. The following 12 months will be known as the Year of the Dragon, one of the most auspicious dates on the calendar. People born under the legendary dragon’s watch…

Shenzhen unveils plans for the heavyweight champion of logistics parks

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

How about this for a profligate project: The Shenzhen municipality this week whipped the sheet off its plans for the creation of a US$45 billion logistics centre in the Shenzhen area of Qianhai. By 2015 they reckon it will be the largest logistics centre in the world…

Prepare for some ugly numbers this reporting season

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

Could you spend US$385 million in one year? Even if you went out on a spending spree and bought a palatial home in Hollywood, a couple of fast cars to replace the receding hairline, new appendages for your partner and a wardrobe that would reduce the Kardashians to tears…

Just what the world needs, another Middle East conflict

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

There are varying estimates of how much crude oil is shipped through the Straits of Hormuz, but the most consistent figure given is around 20 percent of the global supply. That’s about 17 million barrels a day that the Iranians are threatening to choke off…

Pressure heats up on south China manufacturers

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

On February 1, Shenzhen will have the highest minimum wage in China. Factories in the manufacturing hub will be paying workers no less than 1,500 RMB a month, or US$237. Instead of holding off on the increase for a year, the municipality decided to go ahead with a 13.6 percent rise in the wage.

Asia-Europe will decide the shape of shipping in 2012

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on December 22, 2011

When Daily Maersk was announced a couple of months ago, the industry held its breath to see what the other carriers would do about it. What Maersk was offering were guaranteed transit times between certain Asian and European destinations with the payment of penalties for late delivery.

Change at the helm comes at a crucial time for Maersk

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

Kolding was architect of the line’s aggressive plans to expand market share and service quality. Yet he hands over the reins of the world’s biggest carrier at the most troubled time in the container shipping industry’s history. Freight rates…

Not much good cheer to go around this season

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on December 15, 2011

HSBC’s analysts expect export growth in China to slow from its current level of 13 percent to single digits over the next few months. This is going to pile more woes on top of an already woeful manufacturing sector. With profit margins plunging…

UAE operators pouring in capacity

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

The goal of a container crane operator is to lift a 40-foot box off a ship and place it on a truck at least every two minutes. At least that is the target set by the training center at Jebel Ali port in the United Arab Emirates. Trainees use a simulator in the center to master their trade…

This year can’t end quickly enough, but there’s still hope for 2012

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

The ancient Mayans predicted the world would end in 2012 and as far as the container shipping industry is concerned, they may be right. With the US and European economies doing their best to commit suicide, the 2012 outlook is the exact opposite of “fantastic!”.

Forces align against Pearl River Delta ports

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on November 29, 2011

A Beijing official late last month outlined China’s commitment to the development of the city as an international shipping centre under the current five-year plan to 2015. He also said logistics services in neighbouring Shenzhen ports would be “aggressively developed”.

Container shipping shambles claims first high profile victim

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on November 24, 2011

Some pundits are predicting significant consolidation of the container shipping industry as it is hit from all sides by falling demand and burdened with over capacity and high fuel prices. Among the top carriers, it is hard to see where that…

Too many ships, too little to put in them

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

A total of 63 of the giant box boats are due for delivery over the next 12 months, and because of their size and draught constraints they will need to be deployed on Asia-Europe. According to market intelligence provider Alphaliner, only four…

Surely shipping stocks have hit the bottom

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

The bank approved financial crisis (terms and conditions applied) took care of 2009, but by the end of the year a surge in demand caught the container shipping business by surprise. Retailers went into an inventory replenishment frenzy and the…

Low rates threaten to spill into contract negotiations

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on November 15, 2011

The Asia westbound trades are breaking shipping line hearts at the moment. Even to the Mediterranean, rates fell 6.6 percent to $856 per box. Across the transpacific the rates are better, but still way too low for comfort. Rates to the US East Coast fell three percent to $2…

China shipbuilding plans threaten VLCC business

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on November 10, 2011

Growth may have slowed in some mainland sectors this year, but it takes a lot of fuel to stoke an economy growing at 8.5 percent. Oil imports rose by seven percent in the first half, reaching 130 million tonnes, enough to fill 434 supertankers.

China factories being pushed over the edge

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on November 8, 2011

We asked the question last week that retailers in the US and Europe must surely be ready to put in last minute orders to restock their inventories before the Christmas buying season starts in earnest. Yesterday we received the answer, from the US, at least.

Waiting for the inventory bounce

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

Orders from European and US importers have hit all time lows, pushing the thousands of mainland factories to the brink and many over the edge. With many operating at limited capacity, factories have been battling to cope with a sharp drop in orders in the past few months.

Balancing the books a test for carrier accountants

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on November 1, 2011

Last year was a good one for container carriers. Most of it, anyway. But that only makes this year’s plunge in profitability that much more spectacular. Any carrier exposed to the trade lanes linking Asia to North America and Europe is limping…