EVERGREEN SETS UP NEW CONTAINER SHIPPING LINE
Taiwan’s Evergreen group has set up a U.K.-flag shipowning company that takes advantage of the new British tonnage tax regime and will also trade as a container shipping line.
Hatsu Marine Ltd., formally established on Jan. 2, is headquartered in London.
It owns one container vessel, the 6,332-TEU “Hatsu Eagle,” which trades on the transpacific route. The company will take delivery in March of a sister ship, the “Hatsu Envoy.” Three further ships in the series are also expected to join the Hatsu Marine Ltd. fleet.
Over the next few years, the U.K. company will take on ownership of additional container vessels, including some that will be transferred from other Evergreen-affiliated companies, the Evergreen group said.
The Evergreen group had primarily used the flags of Taiwan and Panama, where it has set up shipowning companies.
Evergreen said its officers and crew are engaged in training and certification programs to qualify them to serve on U.K.-flag vessels. Because Taiwan is not a member of the United Nations, Taiwanese seafarers must meet additional technical procedures to be recognized as having professional qualifications under International Maritime Organization rules.
“The new company will be managed out of London, the focal point within the European Union for financial services and a traditional center for the maritime industries,” a spokesman for Evergreen said.
Hatsu Marine will meet the requirements for inclusion within the U.K. tonnage tax regime, it said.
Slin Yeh, the new president of Hatsu Marine, said the company “will not restrict itself to shipowning.” It will be “a fully fledged container shipping line.'
Depending on the future timetable of the company, Hatsu Marine could start trading as a container shipping line in March or April, a spokesman said.
“Hatsu Marine Ltd. will offer a global container network, slot sharing with Evergreen Marine Corp. and Lloyd Triestino di Navigazione SpA on various services linking Europe, Asia and North America,” he added. The company will be issuing its own bills of lading and will have dedicated sales and operational staff. It will use the same agency offices as Evergreen Line.
Initially, Hatsu Marine intends to provide a transpacific service based on a slot-share agreement with Evergreen Marine Corp. and Lloyd Triestino.
Once final details are agreed, the new company will be applying to the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission for authorization to operate in these trades.
“Within the foreseeable future, we will expand our operations to encompass the trades between Europe and Asia and Europe and North America,” a spokesman added.
The opening of the British container shipping operation means that the Evergreen group will now provide commercial container services under four names: Evergreen, Lloyd Triestino, Uniglory and Hatsu Marine.
Hatsu is the Japanese nickname of Chang Yung-fa, the founder and main owner of the Evergreen group.