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APL: reduce Asia-Europe capacity now

APL: reduce Asia-Europe capacity now

Singapore: APL's Greater China president has recommended an immediate reduction in container capacity by individual companies plying the Asia-Europe trades in an effort to curtail the negative impact of the current economic downturn. "Global economic conditions have shifted dramatically this year... If we fail to take action, the industry could see a more significant downturn than we have seen in many years," Dan Ryan said at the 2nd Containerisation & Liner Shipping China conference in Tianjin this morning.

Identifying the current state of the Asia-Europe trade as "precipitous" due to slowing imports and exports from China and high fuel prices, Ryan stated that the sector would be unable to absorb the 7,500 teu vessels destined to hit the market in the near future. Accordingly he recommended that individual carriers take a number of steps to rectify the situation including reducing chartered tonnage and paring back growth aspirations, ensuring that high bunker costs are borne by customers and the possible suspension of some services.

However, Ryan believes that intra-Asian trades, particularly between China, other Asian countries and the Middle East would remain robust.   [24/09/08]