Maersk Line plans to cut the number of berths it leases at Kaohsiung Harbor because of dwindling business, a harbor official said yesterday.
“Maersk Line rents three container berths at Kaohsiung Harbor. The lease for the No. 75 berth will expire in October, but Maersk has asked to terminate it ahead of the expiry date,” said the official who requested anonymity.
The Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) said Maersk was also considering ending its lease of the other two berths at Kaohsiung Harbor, which will expire in May next year.
The company’s Taiwan agent, Maersk Taiwan Ltd, confirmed the decision to terminate the lease for the No. 75 berth.
“It is all because of slump in business,” a staff member who withheld her name said.
Maersk is part of the A P Moller group, the world’s largest container line with 550 ships.
Currently, six foreign container shipping companies have leased 11 berths at Kaohsiung Harbor.
Kaohsiung Harbor was the world’s third-biggest container port during the 1980s.
Howeverm, its ranking has been slipping rapidly in recent years as other countries, especially China, have expanded their ports or built new ones.
Last year, Kaohsiung fell off the list of the top 10 ports, dropping to No. 12 from No. 7 in 2007.