China's shipping sector suffers from overcapacity, high oil price

15:23, May 09, 2011      

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About 30 percent of China's coastal shipping companies are suffering a loss due to overcapacity and high fuel price, Xu Zuyuan, vice minister of transport said Saturday.

According to Xu, some 40 percent of the country's inland shipping firms are also suffering a loss.

Data from the ministry shows China's cargo handling capacity from major ports was 2.08 billion tons in the first quarter, up 14.3 percent year-on-year. However, as oil and human labor are getting more expensive, shipping companies, especially those which are smaller in size, have suffered from shortened demand.

"We are at the edge of loss since exports decreased with yuan's appreciation," said Zhang Zuohai, general manager of China Container Line (Shanghai) Ltd.

According to Zhang, the company is losing its clients from Europe and the United States since some of them have turned to cheaper markets such as India and Vietnam.

Recently, China's shipping stocks have been in bad performance also.

Source: Xinhua
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