Wed, Mar 13, 2013 - Page 14 News List

Wan Hai to raise rates for cargoes originating in Asia

CAUSE FOR OPTIMISM:Wan Hai Lines said demand for container shipping may increase in the second quarter, citing a more optimistic outlook by customers

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

Wan Hai Lines Ltd (萬海航運), one of the nation’s three major container shipping firms, yesterday said it will raise rates for all cargoes originating from Asian countries starting on Friday, citing improving demand.

It will be the company’s first rate hike since the first quarter of last year.

“The hike is to reflect costs, as cargo rates have been dragged down to a lower level than before we raised rates in March last year,” Wan Hai vice president Davis Kao (高國隆) said.

For cargoes originating in China, Hong Kong, South Korea and Southeast Asian countries, including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand, and bound for other Asian destinations, Wan Hai is boosting rates by US$50 for a twenty-foot-equivalent unit (TEU), or by US$100 for a forty-foot-equivalent unit (FEU) as well as for a high-cube container, the container shipping firm said in a statement.

The company also plans to increase rates for cargoes from Asia being transported to the Middle East by US$500 for a TEU or by US$1,000 for either an FEU or a high-cube container, with rates for cargoes from Asia to India and Pakistan increasing by US$300 for a TEU or by US$600 for either an FEU or a high-cube container, the statement added.

Significant signs of recovery have yet to be seen for the container shipping industry, as the first quarter is usually a weak period for the sector, Kao said.

However, demand for the sector may show a rise in the second quarter, Kao said, citing a more optimistic outlook from customers.

The company reported NT$9.02 billion (US$303.4 million) in sales in the first two months of the year, up 4.81 percent from a year ago, according to data filed with the stock exchange.

An upturn in the sector was also reflected in the latest service expansion by Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp (陽明海運), the nation’s second-largest container shipping carrier.

Earlier this month, Yang Ming said it will extend its services to the US, Caribbean and the east coast of South America by deploying a vessel on the route, in joint operation with Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha Ltd of Japan, Hanjin Shipping Co of South Korea and Evergreen Marine Corp (長榮海運), Taiwan’s largest container shipping firm.

Yang Ming posted consolidated revenue of NT$18.27 billion in the first two months of the year, up 2.53 percent from a year earlier, while Evergreen Marine saw consolidated sales rise 34.89 percent year-on-year to NT$22.31 billion during the same period, statistics showed.

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