Tue, Dec 11, 2012 - Page 14 News List

Despite weak sentiment, top shippers to open lines

FORGING AHEAD:Evergreen Marine and Yang Ming are both to launch new lines in the hopes that gloomy sector sentiment will recover next year as they refocus to Asia

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

The nation’s two largest container shipping firms are set to launch new lines in the middle of this month, following their posting of mixed sales results for last month.

Evergreen Marine Corp (長榮海運), the nation’s largest container shipping firm in terms of fleet scale, posted NT$1.58 billion (US$54.2 million) in revenue last month, up 18.8 percent from a year earlier and 18.8 percent from a month earlier, it said in a filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange yesterday.

That brought company sales in the first 11 months to NT$14.73 billion, up 5.43 percent year-on-year.

The improving revenue for the second half of the year comes as the company announced it would open a new service linking major ports on the west coast of Central America with UK-based X-Press Container Line routes next week.

Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp (陽明海運), the nation’s second-biggest container shipper, plans to launch a new direct service, which will link Japan, Taiwan and Southeast Asia.

However, Yang Ming’s sales dropped 14.64 percent from a month earlier to NT$8.16 billion last month, a 2.44 percent drop from a year earlier, company data showed.

The firm’s cumulative revenue totaled NT$97.68 billion in the first 11 months of the year, up 8.08 percent from a year ago, driven mainly by higher sales in the second half of the year, statistics showed.

Wan Hai Lines Ltd (萬海航運), the nation’s third-largest container shipper, saw its sales slide 8.2 percent from a year ago and 2.83 percent from a month ago to NT$4.47 billion last month, the company said.

Wan Hai’s cumulative sales totaled NT$52.14 billion in the first 11 months, down 9.55 percent from the previous year, due to the company’s withdrawal of many routes to the US and Europe this year.

Despite Taiwanese container shippers expecting sector sentiment to gradually recover next year, a brokerage house maintained a more pessimistic view in an industry report.

“Container shipping companies may face headwinds next year, as more vessels are delivered, reigniting oversupply in the industry,” Capital Securities Corp (群益證券) said.

However, the brokerage house said freight rates may stabilize before the Lunar New Year amid stronger seasonal demand.

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