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Monday, May 25, 2020

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China trade figures moving in right direction

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on August 9, 2013

The latest figures to get the media trumpet treatment are China’s imports and exports that in July showed a decent rebound over the same period last year. Exports rose five percent last month and imports were up 11 percent, according to China Customs.

Sri Lanka’s hub hope opens for business

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on August 6, 2013

China was quick to pounce on Sri Lanka after the brutal civil war ended in 2009, recognizing the island nation’s strategic geographical position. The long and debilitating war had left Sri Lanka’s infrastructure in a woeful state and its improvement…

Asset sale plan as China Cosco sets course to stay on bourse

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on August 1, 2013

The woes continue for China Cosco Holdings. For two years the Chinese flagship carrier has posted losses, dragged down by blind expansion and slowing mainland growth. This week China Cosco announced that the losses have continued in the first…

Establish cost of China VAT before hitting shippers with levies

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on July 30, 2013

Whenever there is uncertainty in a particular trade, the container lines resolutely stick with the “shipper pays” principle. That’s understandable considering the state of the industry, but not exactly fair on their customers. For the last couple…

Ship yards and lines in the same boat

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on July 25, 2013

With China prices for new ships plummeting, the last year has been a good time to be in the vessel buying business. Yards in the mainland have been aggressively touting for business and even allowing down payments of as low as one percent. The generous terms are coming to an end…

Shippers will be squeezed by Cape Town deviance

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on July 23, 2013

The Suez is important not only to the Asia-North Europe/Med trade but also to growing volumes of Asia cargo heading for the US East Coast. Drewry Maritime Research compiled a report last week on what the impact on the lines would be if the East-West waterway were blocked.

Size only counts when everything is full

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on July 10, 2013

Ever since Maersk Line announced its intention to build the Triple-E class ships, the industry has been asking at what point should the designers put away their computers and CAD systems and say enough is enough. Having a ship capable of carrying 18,000 TEUs is evidently not that point.

New Cosco boss has six months to get Cosco back in black

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on July 5, 2013

The task of fixing the loss-making Cosco machine now that captain Wei Jiafu has gone falls to former group president Ma Zehua, who has less than six months to steer his stricken ship back to profitable waters. One more year of losses will see…

Consolidation around the corner for smaller carriers

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on July 3, 2013

The imminent arrival of Maersk Line’s new 18,000 TEU Triple-E class vessel has the world’s shipping analysts all chatting about capacity and the over supply of it. Market fundamentals are no longer the driving force behind the orders, Drewry assures us (were they ever, you wonder?).

Consultants clamber on board canal gravy train

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on June 28, 2013

It seems that “ordinary Chinese” billionaire Wang Jing, as he modestly describes himself, plans to spend US$900 million on feasibility studies for his canal project that will involve 3,000 consultant engineers and analysts once their hangovers wear off.

Transhipment business model no good for Hong Kong

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on May 7, 2013

Some ports lend themselves, via geographic location or strategy, to transshipment. Singapore, for instance, had a throughput of 31.6 million TEUs in 2012, but more than 90 percent was comprised of containers in transit. Geographically, Singapore…

Nicaraguan boondoggle seeks gullible investors

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on June 25, 2013

The Chinese businessman pushing the construction of a canal through the Central American state of Nicaragua unveiled his grand plans in Hong Kong yesterday. It seems Wang Jing, chairman of Hong Kong based HKND, is betting at least US$40 billion…

Lay up or lose are the choices facing carriers

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on June 21, 2013

“Peak season is a make or break for 2013 profitability,” are the chilling words of Rahul Kapoor, senior analyst at Drewry Maritime Equity Research. Chilling in that there is no indication that a peak season will happen this year, which would…

Size counts on weak Asia-Europe routes

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on June 19, 2013

The mega vessel sharing agreement between the world’s three biggest container lines is going to completely dominate Asia-Europe trade with ships from Maersk, MSC and CMA CGM having a good 40 percent share of the market. The P3 Network, as it is called…

New Hong Kong cruise terminal gushes from taxpayer spigot

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on June 13, 2013

Speak to any executive in the world’s cruise liner industry and you will hear how business is booming. Unsurprisingly in Asia, China is driving up the numbers with Royal Caribbean’s Chinese passengers growing from 25,000 in 2010 to 200,000 this year.

Rising costs in China make way for rise of the robot

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on May 31, 2013

The average monthly wage in China’s manufacturing sector will rise to a horrifying US$1,000 a month by 2020, according to the World Bank. Factory workers are currently earning about US$350 a month, so in seven years they will be really raking it in.

Transpacific rates beaten down by excess capacity and weak loads

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on May 29, 2013

Transpacific shipping lines will have had no assistance from trade statistics as their annual campaign to push up freight rates draws to a close. Asia-West Coast trade in the first quarter fell almost five percent over the same period last year…

Maersk rate hikes hitting the high notes

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on May 21, 2013

Maersk Line boss Nils Smedegaard Andersen was in a confident mood after his carrier posted a decent US$204 million profit in the first quarter. Making a profit when Asia-Europe is a disaster and many other carriers are wallowing in red ink is impressive enough…

Making the most of a mug’s game

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on May 14, 2013

How about this for an eyebrow-raising fact: Between 1998 and 2013, average container freight rates increased by three percent. Over the same period, fuel prices rose 790 percent. That’s according to Alphaliner’s latest newsletter, and you have…

CSCL’s mega ship order raises eyebrows

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on May 3, 2013

According to reports, China Shipping Container Lines’ decision to order five 18,000 TEU giants will put a US$700 million dent in its pocket. Those things are not cheap, especially considering CSCL made a loss of US$112 million in the past three months.