Ministry reveals plan to boost shipping industry

‘BLUE HIGHWAY’::Taiwan International Port Corp and the Maritime and Port Bureau would assist with the 10-year development plan, the transport minister said

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Fri, Jul 12, 2019 - Page 2

Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) yesterday said that his ministry plans to roll out a 10-year development plan for a “Blue Highway” to boost domestic maritime transport businesses.

Lin made the announcement at the Maritime Festival in Taipei yesterday.

The shipping industry faces many challenges, including the US-China trade dispute and international oil price hikes, Lin said, adding that the nation’s maritime service operators still grow against all odds.

Lin said that four of the nation’s shipping firms are in the top 20 in the world.

Evergreen Maritime Corp, Yang Ming Maritime Transport Corp, Wang Hai Lines and T.S. Lines Co are ranked Nos. 7, 8, 12 and 20, respectively, he added.

The nation’s shipping capacity also reached a deadweight tonnage of 5,042 and is ranked No. 11 in the world, Lin said, adding that these extraordinary achievements are made possible thanks to shipping operators’ effort and contributions.

The ministry has listed the development of a “Blue Highway” as one of its important maritime policies, and plans to present its development plan by the end of this year, Lin said.

State-run Taiwan International Port Corp has been asked to facilitate the growth of domestic maritime services, not only in passenger transportation but also in around-the-nation freight transshipment, Lin said.

The company would also study the possibility of offering more incentives to shipping firms and assisting them with resolving the Labor Standards Act (勞基法) compliance issues, he said.

The Maritime and Port Bureau would ensure that the safety and efficiency of the maritime services by upgrading the maritime transport network portal and seafarers online platform, Lin said.

Lin also announced that the Executive Yuan has approved the ministry’s proposal to continue a program designed to boost and upgrade shipping industry until the end of this year.

It includes a series of measures ranging from reducing or waiving wharf docking and rental fees to giving shipping firms a grace period for paying back their loans.