Larger container lines squeezing intra-Asia carriers

Bad weather, port congestion, strikes, and shifting service demand are major disruptors of carrier service schedules in Asia, where typhoons, fog, and lacklustre infrastructure are common. Along with the cascading of larger vessels from other trades, it is difficult for smaller short-sea and feeder carriers to turn a profit. According to Alphaliner, the largest intra-Asia operators are OOCL, Sealand Asia, Evergreen Marine, CNC, Wan Hai, and SITC.

After the imposition of China tariffs, there has been a stronger focus on diversifying into other markets. US soybean and grain producers in particular have been further developing the “steady and growing Asian market, including moving into other countries such as Bangladesh, Cambodia, and Myanmar.

Prolonged US-China trade war is reshaping the flow of goods in Asia. Southeast Asian countries saw imports of Chinese furniture imports surge 30%year over year to $1 billion in the first five months of 2019 after the US levied a 10% tariff on Chinese exports a year ago. Vietnam, Taiwan, Thailand, and Malaysia saw containerized exports to the US surge 15 to 21% year over year through July 2019.