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Yang Ming to retire 20 ships and to seek new tonnage in coming years

FOLLOWING the recent injection of cash from the state, Yang Ming Marine Transport has detailed plans to scrap 20 ships and to bring in a fresh wave of new tonnage.

State-backed Taiwan International Port Corp (TIPC), which oversees the island's main terminals, converted US$343 million of debt owed by Yang Ming into an investment, in the process switching from being a creditor in the Keelung-headquartered line to become a shareholder.

Taiwan's minister of transportation and communications, Hochen Tan, stated that he sees the two parties working much closer together going forward.

Yang Ming's chairman Bronson Hsieh, formerly number two at Evergreen, has outlined how the company will rejig its box fleet.Twenty ships ranging in size from 3,000 TEU to 8,000 TEU will be retired in the coming years, with Yang Ming then looking to either build or charter in a swathe of new, larger tonnage with a focus on trades in Southeast Asia.

Amid unprecedented consolidation seen in the container sphere over the past three years, combined with a series of dire financial results, the future of Yang Ming, currently the world's eighth largest liner with just shy of 600,000 slots, has been the source of much speculation in 2017.
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