mai hien

Zim widens quarterly loss to US$34.1 million despite 14.7pc more sales
Monday, 04 June 2018 02:15

ISRAELI flag carrier Zim widened its quarterly net loss to US$34.1 million from last year's shortfall of $6.4 million, despite a 14.7 per cent year-on-year increase in revenue to $751.4 million and 16.7 per cent more volume to 698,000 TEU.

"The container shipping industry is dynamic and volatile and has been marked in recent years by instability, due to ongoing changes in market conditions," Zim said.

"Since the second half of 2016 and through the third quarter of 2017, increases were recorded in freight rates as well as in bunker prices.

"From the fourth quarter of 2017 and during the last first quarter, freight rates have decreased while bunker prices continued to increase," said the Zim statement accompanying the results.

Zim's average freight rate per TEU during the quarter slipped 1.6 per cent year on year to $938.

Said CEO Eli Glickman: "While we started to see an improvement in some of the trade towards the end of the quarter, Q1 2018 results, on the whole, were negatively impacted by the combined effect of increased bunker prices, higher charter costs and lower freight rates."

Looking ahead, Mr Glickman said that Zim keeps investing in digital solutions to enhance efficiency and customer experience and remains focused on achieving its goals as an independent carrier.

Zim operates 85 vessels with 4,200 staff ashore and afloat. Financial institutions and shipowners own 68 per cent of its shares with Kenon Ltd owning the 32 per cent.

Vietnamese logistics firms remain small, overpowered by foreign services
Friday, 01 June 2018 03:13

A Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) report has found that most domestic logistics firms are small or very small with limited financial capability.

90% of businesses have registered capital of less than VND10 billion and only 1% of businesses have more than VND100 billion.

Foreign logistics firms in Vietnam have big clients as they are parts of multi-national groups which sign contracts with large shipping lines, and have modern management technology. 

Vietnamese firms only undertake simple jobs such as inland transport, customs agents and storehouse services.  

Dang Dinh Dao, former director of the Hanoi institute Economics & Development Studies, said that MPI’s report showed problems which have existed for many years.

He said the legal framework, infrastructure, and logistics businesses in general are all weak.

Vietnam has a Commercial Law and legal documents related to Vietnam’s logistics development. However, the legal framework remains scattered with low feasibility.

Decision No 1012 in 2015 on the programming and development of logistics center system throughout the country was considered an important document because it aimed to connect means of transport and bridge economic zones. 

However, the issues mentioned in the document still cannot be implemented.

The biggest problem lies in the weak connection: the railways don’t link to ports, and highways don’t link with provincial roads. As a result, logistics costs in Vietnam are much higher than other countries.

A report from the World Bank showed that the logistics cost in Vietnam is three times higher than Singapore. Logistics fees in Vietnam account for 20.9% of the country’s GDP, of which transport costs account for 60%, twice as much as developed economies such as Japan (11%) and EU countries (10%).

The Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) reported that the cost to carry one container of goods from Hai Phong Port to Hanoi (100 kilometers) is three times higher than the cost to carry a container from China or South Korea to Vietnam.

Vietnam has had high hopes for the Ho Chi Minh Road. However, because of the lack of connection, it has been not fully exploited. 

Meanwhile, Highway No 1 remains overloaded. What Vietnam needs to do is connect the road with Highway No 1 and railways to exploit the three routes in a harmonious way.

An analyst commented that Vietnam focuses on road and airway development. Meanwhile, the railways and sea transport which have great advantages have been ignored.

ONE alliance calls at Colombo on Asia-North America EC5
Wednesday, 30 May 2018 02:04

OCEAN Network Express' (ONE) EC5 service has started calling at the Port of Colombo. The service called at the South Asia Gateway Terminal (SAGT) in which APM Terminals holds a 33 per cent share.

Singapore-based ONE was established in July 2017 following the integration of the container shipping operations of "K" Line, MOL and NYK, Dubai's Maritime Standard reported.

ONE's EC5 service links Asia to the east coast of North America and calls at Laem Chabang, Thailand; Cai Mep, Vietnam; Singapore and Colombo before getting to the Atlantic via Suez and then calling at Halifax, New York, Savannah, Jacksonville and Norfolk. The eastbound leg stops at Halifax, Jebel Ali and Singapore.

Opened in 1999 SGAT was Sri Lanka's first private terminal. It has seen almost continuous year-on-year volume growth ever since and achieved a container throughput of 1.8 million TEU in 2017.

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