Home » Maritime » Easy on new vessels, PLSA advises members

THE Philippine Liner Shipping Association (PLSA) is advising shipping operators to go slow on vessel acquisition, saying the additional capacity may lead to cutthroat competition at a time when the shipping industry has yet to fully recover from the global economic slowdown.

In the last few months nine vessels have been introduced, unusual at a time when volumes are still thin, according to a ranking PLSA official.

Oceanic Container Lines brought in three vessels; Aboitiz Transport System, two; Negros Navigation, two; and National Marine and Lorenzo Shipping, one each. Capacity ranges from 200 to 500 TEUs.

“We understand operators are just taking advantage of the low market price of vessels,” the source, who requested anonymity, said. “However, they should be prudent in acquiring new bottoms… considering that majority of vessel space…has remained unutilized.”

The source said some foreign-flag vessels allowed by government to service the local trade has also provided competition.

“We are not asking them (local lines) to defer their refleeting or acquisition, we just want them to go slow based on the pace of our recovery,” he said.

Local cargo throughput grew 5.9% in the first quarter of the year compared to the same period last year. Containerized volume rose 10.7% during the same period in review.

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