ContainersGreater China

Chinese desk manufacturer orders 1,800 teu boxship

It was in June last year that Splash first reported of a major retailer, Home Depot, chartering in container tonnage to battle the ongoing supply chain crisis. At the time, the news was seismic, highlighting the severity of the transport chaos on the transpacific. Since then a host of other major retail brands, including Walmart and IKEA, have pursued similar tactics. Now, one Chinese furniture manufacturer has taken the next step.

Clarkson Research Services is reporting Loctek Ergonomic has ordered a 1,800 teu boxship from Huanghai Shipbuilding for a swift delivery in the first quarter next year. The Ningbo-headquartered desk manufacturer has managed to negotiate a competitive $32.6m for the new ship whereas secondhand tonnage for similar sized ships is now trading at around $50m.

“In order to further enhance the company’s competitiveness and accelerate the company’s overseas business development, the company plans to sign a 1,800 TEU containership construction contract with a domestic first-class shipyard,” Loctek Ergonomic stated in a stock exchange filing.

Among all categories shipped via containers, it has been assembled furniture that has born the brunt of today’s sky high freight rates. Freight rates account for more than two-thirds of the retail value of these goods, severely impacting profitability for many in the furniture business.

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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