The bad news for the worldwide maritime shipping industry just keeps "getting badder". Now, two Taiwanese concerns are going to get a government bailout, so reports the Wall Street Journal:
http://www.wsj.com/articles/taiwan-appr ... 1479313587
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Taiwan’s government has approved a $1.9 billion relief package for the country’s loss-making container shipping companies to prevent a collapse similar to Korea’s Hanjin Shipping Co.
People with direct knowledge of the matter said the package, announced late Tuesday, involves a credit line with preferential interest rates aimed mainly to help Evergreen Marine Corp. and Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp. , two of the world’s biggest container operators.
“The nation relies on shipping firms to transport goods that come in large quantities, which is key to our economic development,” said Wang Kwo-tsai, Taiwan’s deputy minister of transportation, adding that the fallout from Hanjin’s August bankruptcy caused chaos in global supply chains, with $14 billion worth of goods stranded at sea for months
There is no regulatory authority over ocean shipping, and the lines appear to be involved with ruinous cut throat price competition considering that a container can be shipped Asia to Europe for $700 and with a break even point of $1400. If that be the case, is there even enough $$$ to gas up the boat and pay the driver?
Unquestionably. All this has an effect upon the viability of the Neo-PANAMAX project, be such the Canal itself or the East Coast ports expanding to handle this new era of global commerce.
And finally let us not forget the supposed anti-trade position of the incoming Trump administration. All this could well be enough to "throw cold water" on a possible sale of the FEC.