Thursday, April 02, 2009
Singapore: Taiwan-based Evergreen has defied the global trade collapse to start a new container shipping company based in Singapore and flying the republic's flag, to capitalise on Singapore's standing as a flag of quality, reports the Straits Times.
Evergreen Marine (Singapore)'s initial fleet comprises vessels re-registered from Panama, with new ships to be added later. Fist vessel, the Ever United, started operations earlier this month. In all, 13 vessels will be re-registered and brought under the Singapore company. These will add 797,200 gross tonnes to the 43.7m gross tonnes already in the Singapore Registry of Ships as at the end of last year.
Evergreen Group chairman Chang Yung-fa says he has big plans for the Singapore firm, which he intends to develop Evergreen Marine (Singapore) to be on a par with his other major shipping companies in Taiwan, Britain and Italy. It could eventually own and operate 40 to 50 container vessels, all flying the Singapore flag. These would include newly built ships. 'This is my modest contribution to Singapore society,' said Dr Chang.
Evergreen, the world's fourth largest container line, stands to gain under the Approved International Shipping Enterprise scheme, which gives Singapore companies tax incentives. This allows it to take advantage of the double taxation agreements Singapore has with other countries, and the fact that there is no limitation on the nationalities of shipping crews, noted Ms Molly Mok, chairman of the new company.
Singapore thus stands poised to benefit from the contra-cyclical astuteness of Evergreen, which refrained from ordering during the boom years but its now thought likely to benefit from slots that have become available and reduced prices, in time for a global upturn it envisages will happen in 2012, comments the Straits Times. 'When the economy is at its lowest ebb, it is the time to build new ships,' Dr Chang said, explaining that costs are lower during a downturn. [01/04/09]