OOCL: VOLUME GROWTH WILL ABSORB SHIP CAPACITY
Ongoing growth in international containerized cargo volumes will offset the expected jump in ship capacity in the east/west trades, a senior executive of Orient Overseas Container Line said.
Ted Wang, chairman and managing director of OOCL (Europe) Ltd., said that, despite the slowing down of the U.S. economy, global trade will continue to expand, particularly as China prepares to enter the World Trade Organization.
“The U.S. economy will continue to be healthy, with a soft landing,” Wang said. The European economies are “doing very well” and the expected membership of mainland China in the WTO will boost global trade, he said.
Wang said that there were capacity shortages in the peak season last year in the Asia/Europe trade, and in the transpacific trade in 1999.
“We are responsible carriers,” Wang said. “We must be ready to provide capacity.”
Wang, the managing director of OOCL (China) Ltd. from 1993 until last year, said that China’s total two-way international trade is expected to expand from $360 billion in 2000 to $650 billion in 2005.
Last year, the six main mainland Chinese container ports saw combined throughputs soar by 33 percent, to about 22 million TEUs, according to port statistics compiled by OOCL. Shanghai, mainland China’s biggest container port, saw its traffic rise by more than 30 percent last year, to 5.5 million TEUs, becoming the sixth largest container port in the world.