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‘Business unusual’: PSA on challenges wrought by the mega boxship era

Singapore: Latest figures from Singapore terminal operator PSA show just how tricky the sector has become in the mega boxship era. While on the face of it, the 65.44m teu handled by PSA Internationa’s portfolio of terminals – up 5.8% year-on-year – looked normal, closer inspection of the numbers show the problems PSA and other terminal operators face. Revenues grew 2.9% to $3.83bn, but net profit slipped 1.7% to $1.4bn.

“While the throughput figures might have given the perception that 2014 was a typical year, we at our corner serving our customers, knew 2014 was business unusual,” commented Tan Chong Meng, group ceo, PSA International

“The industry awoke to harsh new realities,” he continued, citing: “mismatch of mega vessels and ports, more complex alliance arrangements, reduced shipping reliability, port congestion; it was a challenging and uncertain time for the industry. In fact, as more mega vessels enter service and the workings of the mega alliances go into full swing in 2015, we may continue to see operational challenges this year.”

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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