Digital Edition

June 09, 2014

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 28 of 87

INTERNATIONAL MARITIME THE JOURNAL OF COMMERCE 29 UASC is the 17th-largest container line, according to research and consulting firm Alphaliner, with a fleet of owned and chartered ships that have a total capacity of 288,756 TEUs. The 19 ships on order have a capacity equivalent to 97.6 percent of its existing fleet. It scrapped some of its 2,000- TEU vessels two years ago and plans to return many of its Panamax-sized chartered vessels when the big new ships are delivered. "They are not the most efficient ships in the world," he said. UASC had little problem financing the new ships because it's owned jointly by six oil-rich Persian Gulf states — Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — with a big recent change being Qatar taking a 51 percent stake in 2013. The financing was "100 percent oversub- scribed" by international banks and banks in the Middle East, Hinge said. Though the new ships will add to the overcapacity that already hangs over the Asia-Europe trade, UASC has to be in the China trade "for many years to come," he said. UASC overhauled its management orga- nization last year to consolidate its multiple regional offices into regional headquarters. The new regional headquarters will be responsible for managing trade lanes to their regions rather than selling across al l trade lanes, Hinge said. They will have responsibility for the profitability of their own region's trades rather than selling capac- ity on every trade, which will boost efficiency and cut costs. UASC, for example, is clos- ing offices in Cranford, Baltimore, Norfolk and Savannah and consolidating them in a new headquarters for the U.S. trade lanes in Peachtree, Georgia, near Atlanta this August. It also consolidated its regional offices in Europe and moved its headquarters for the North Europe trades to Hamburg, Germany. It operates a hub-and-spoke network in other regions, with Algeciras, Spain, as the hub for the trades with West Africa and Latin America; Singapore for the Asia-Middle East trades; Port Klang, Malaysia, for Australasia; and Dubai as the hub for the trades between India, the Middle East, the Mediterranean and the U.S. East Coast. It's too soon to measure the results of the reorganization. UASC only implemented the new organizational structure during the third quarter of last year, with financial reporting under the new system in effect since January, so it will take 12 months to see how it works. "So far so good," Hinge said, "but we need more experience." JOC Contact Peter Leach at and follow him on Twitter: @petertleach. THAILAND IN KNOTS Logistics providers weigh alternatives to keep supply chains flowing in the wake of Thailand's coup IN THE WAKE of the latest installment of martial law imposed in Thailand, logistics providers and the companies they serve in the country are reaching for contingency plans. A nighttime curfew from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. was introduced after the Thailand's military seized power, imprisoning political leaders and clamping down on traditional and social media. The restrictions raised fears that the delivery of cargo and the nighttime opera- tion of air freight terminals would be affected. Seeking clarification from the army, DB Schenker was told that trans - porting goods would be allowed during the curfew hours, provided it secured authori- zation with the military. Sealed containers, however, might be inspected. "The DB Schenker fleet and our subcon- tractors have secured this authorization," DB Schenker spokesman Andrew Seah told the JOC. Air cargo flowing through Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi International Airport is particularly vulnerable to disruption from the political turmoil. In January, protesters threatened to close the airport, but in 2008, anti-government riots shut down Suvar- nabhumi for nine days, forcing logistics providers to find alternatives to keep goods moving through their supply chains. Fortunately, a steady rise in the number of visitors to Thailand during the past decade — tourist arrivals grew 20 percent year-over- year in 2013 — has created a wide network of international airports across the country, and many feature in the contingency plans employed by logistics operators. By Greg Knowler

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Digital Edition - June 09, 2014