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Shipping industry struggles amid low demand

By Wang Ying  (China Daily)

08:06, October 12, 2012

A container vessel in Qingdao, Shandong province. The nine biggest Chinese shipping enterprises reported an aggregate loss of nearly 8 billion yuan in the first half of the year, according to a Securities Daily report. [Photo/China Daily]

China's sluggish shipping industry took its toll on many port enterprises in the third quarter of 2012 and those businesses may face even harder times in the rest of the year, according to a recent report.

The Shanghai International Shipping Institute reported its Chinese shipping industry prosperity index decreased by 16.37 points from the second quarter to the third quarter, dropping to 78.17 points. That suggested the industry is entering a less-prosperous period, the report said.

A score above 100 on the index indicates prosperous times for the industry.

The report also said the Shanghai International Shipping Institute's shipping confidence index slumped by 19.37 points from the second quarter to the third quarter, falling to 44.05 points, and said that more than 63 percent of the shipping businesses that were polled in the survey were pessimistic about the industry's prospects.

The prospects of China's shipping industry have become dimmer as less electrical power has been generated and fewer shipments have been handled by ports in the past several months, the report said.

From July to September, the institute's prosperity index for Chinese port enterprises dropped to 97.42 points, a decline of 20.72 points.

That brought it below 100 for the first time since the 2008-09 global financial crisis, suggesting that Chinese port companies are operating in more difficult conditions.

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