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Under pressure Yang Ming sells Taipei office

Under pressure Yang Ming sells Taipei office

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Shipping lines selling property tends to be a sure sign of a crisis. Yang Ming, the world’s ninth largest line and mired in debts, has sold an office in Taipei for $60m as it fights to balance its books.

Taiwanese politicians earlier this week debated the future of the island’s second largest containerline with calls for Yang Ming to merge with other lines or possibly state-run Taiwan International Port Corp (TIPC).

With the dramatic consolidation seen across the container shipping sector this year, Yang Ming, which has lost $407m in the first three quarters, finds itself in a precarious position. Now the world’s ninth largest containerline with a fleet of 565,766 slots according to Alphaliner, Yang Ming needs to make some hard decisions about its future. To be a genuine global liner company in today’s altered container shipping reality a company needs to have at least twice the capacity Yang Ming controls. A merger with fellow Taiwanese line Evergreen is not simple for two reasons: first, the state controls 33% of Yang Ming and secondly, the two lines are heading into different alliances next April – Yang Ming into THE Alliance while Evergreen has signed up to the Ocean Alliance.

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Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.

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