28766 members and growing – the largest networking group in the maritime industry!

LoginJoin

Monday, May 25, 2020

Blogs

  • Far East Maritime (375) (X)

Tags

Growth on the backburner until 2014, then fireworks, says HSBC

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

It is difficult not to be gloomy when every TV network and business newspaper in the world is filled with despairing reports on the great Euro Sovereign Debt Meltdown Crash and the audacity of US consumers to pare down debt instead of spending recklessly.

China distribution the battleground of the future

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

A clearer picture of the Chinese consumer is emerging: He or she lives in the city, the household earns RMB78,500 a year (US$12,400) and probably has a car parked outside. The annual income doesn’t sound like much but it continues to grow rapidly.

Bullish lines heap on GRIs and surcharges

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on April 18, 2012

The container shipping lines today received praise from an unlikely source – Ram Menen, divisional head of cargo at Emirates, Dubai-based and most consistently profitable airline in the world. Speaking at an air cargo conference in Hong Kong…

Scary stuff from the experts, but 'wait and see' is the best advice

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

Container shipping lines, and their bulk carrying counterparts, are being squeezed from both sides of their balance sheets. The top lines are throttled by excess capacity and poor freight rate levels, while the bottom lines are hammered by rising fuel costs.

Too much capacity floating back from lay-up

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

The horizon to the north of Penang, a Malaysian island in the Malacca Straits, is dotted with laid up container ships surplus to current industry requirements. It is just one of many secluded bays or waterways just off the busy trade routes populated with hunks of floating steel…

China carrier takes industry losses to new lows

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

Just when you thought the 2011 shipping industry losses could not possibly get any worse, along comes one of China’s state owned carriers to set the benchmark at a new low. As China’s largest line, that honour naturally fell to Cosco, and the…

If China slows down, where does that leave everyone else?

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

The HSBC purchasing manager’s index has now fallen below 50 points for five consecutive months, revealing a deepening contraction in mainland manufacturing. New factory orders are at a four-month low and are expected to slow even further, HSBC’s chief economist says.

South China terminals face capacity overhang as demand falters

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

South China’s annual throughput was close to 60 million TEUs last year. There is no cluster of ports in the world that can boast that kind of volume, which enabled the province of Guangdong to claim a third of China exports. The rise of manufacturing…

Size definitely matters more in Asia

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

The response earned a wry chuckle from delegates at the TOC Supply Chain Asia conference who had just been briefed on the dire the predicament of capacity-burdened carriers. Shipping lines lost a combined US$5 billion last year, according to Drewry…

No end to the shipper vs carrier issues

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on March 7, 2012

Every year before the giant transpacific maritime conference in March, not coincidentally called Trans-Pacific Maritime, the carriers in the trade release a statement on how freight rates need to go up. The Long Beach conference is perfectly timed…

Weak demand equals rising rates – really?

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

Can you imagine being the CFO responsible for presenting a container shipping line’s annual results? Standing before the Board you mumble something about the “cyclical nature of the industry” and then attempt to explain how you managed to turn…

Inventory restocking or just wishful thinking

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on March 2, 2012

Good news is beginning to stack up against the run of play in the container shipping business, despite the industry’s deep-rooted problems. Excess capacity is dragging carriers into the red, and the rising oil price is helping them along. And…

Industry suffering may be good for the big carriers

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

That will never happen, of course. Lines are too preoccupied with market share, especially the larger carriers, and in the unlikely event of frenzied spending in the US and Europe, the excess capacity will keep pressure on rates. Taking ships out will be good for the industry…

Reforming Russia’s creaking logistics system won't happen anytime soon

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

A research report on the Russian container market starts with the words: “There is still no major good news.” From there, the introduction just gets worse. Three years of marking time, nobody recalls the reasons anymore, the report says. So who is at fault? “Customs.

Higher throughput doesn’t mean you need more terminals

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

The head of a Hong Kong terminal operator made a salient point in a newspaper report this morning. He said an increase in throughput did not necessarily take up port capacity in direct proportion. That is obvious to someone actually in the business of shipping containers…

Bohai Bay deep freeze keeps shipping away

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

It was minus -4C in Dalian this morning, or 25F for the metrically challenged. The highest temperature the Bohai Rim port city is going to reach in the next five days is a balmy zero degrees. The temperatures are way better than the deep freeze…

Little to excite container shipping in Hong Kong budget speech

Posted to Far East Maritime (by Greg Knowler) on February 2, 2012

A government run by bureaucrats is no place for mavericks. Innovative thoughts or visionary leanings held by civil servants are quickly discovered and excised. Such is the practice in Hong Kong, ensuring that by the time a civil servant rises through the ranks to assume a policy setting position…

Ailing lines lunge for the record rate hike button

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

Hanjin Shipping just announced that it had swung from a US$250 million profit in 2010 to a $730 million loss last year. That’s a billion dollar difference in one year. The Japanese carriers MOL, K Line and NYK are half a billion down in the…

Shenzhen reaching out as cargo heads inland

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

The south China port of Shenzhen reported the lowest growth percentage of mainland ports last year, its throughput increasing by just 0.27 percent. As an export port, that seems about right given the trade slowdown, until you look to the north…

Yangtze shipping left high and dry

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

The Year of the Dragon begins now, represented in the Chinese zodiac by the Water Dragon. There is some irony in that, because the worst drought in 50 years has forced Chinese maritime authorities to close the Yangtze River above the port of Wuhan, more than 600 miles upriver from Shanghai.