Hong Kong-based Gold Star Line turns 60 this year and has its eyes set on more sophisticated vessels.
In his interview since becoming managing director at the containerline, Danny Hoffman discusses with Maritime CEO key issues affecting intra-Asia trades as well as how his line is expanding to new territories.
“Intra-Asia trade will continue to grow both for reefer and freight and I believe that upward trend will continue but in a modest way,” Hoffman says.
“We are also planning to expand our activity in Africa, meanwhile last year we launched a new Middle East service which is an extension of our expansion plans in the Indian Sub-Continent,” Hoffman says. More Indian Sub-Continent feeder services are also in the offing, he adds.
The fleet at the ZIM subsidiary now stands at 19 ships totalling 78,521 teu.
“Our fleet on the intra-Asia routes is changing with more sophisticated vessels being deployed,” Hoffman says, adding: “I believe that due to port congestion and geographical obstacles like shallow draft, the fleet will move to a wide-beam design for those ports, like Bangkok and Chittagong require the maximum sized wide beamed vessels or other regular B-1700 vessels will continue to dominate but will be improved.”
Unlike other sectors of container shipping, Hoffman believes there’s little room for consolidation among intra-Asia operators – cooperation is the name of the game in this particular niche.
“I believe that more cooperation in this region will be the way forward. I don’t see so many options for consolidation,” he says.