An executive with the ocean carrier Evergreen Line said Wednesday that the three dynamics he’s watching for their effect on the global shipping markets all pertain to developments in the United States.
Evergreen Vice Group Chairman Bronson Hsieh said increased production of shale oil and gas, a push to increase U.S. exports, and the potential migration of manufacturing back to the United States would all have an indelible impact on liner carriers.
Speaking at the Journal of Commerce
-organized TPM Asia conference in Shenzhen, Hsieh said shale-based resources had allowed the United States to significantly reduce its demand for imported oil and gas. That could have a knock-on effect for container shipping, but in potentially divergent ways.
The increase in shale-based production could help induce manufacturers to ramp up production in the United States, given that their energy costs would be much lower. Alternatively, savings from domestically produced energy could drive companies to hire more employees or give existing workers more disposable income, both of which could affect container volumes on U.S. trades.
Hsieh, in a question and answer period after his presentation, declined to comment on the impact of the pending P3 alliance between Maersk Line, Mediterranean Shipping Co. and CMA CGM, three of the carriers that are bigger than Evergreen on a fleet size and volume basis.
“There’s not so much detail we see from the media or market,” he said. “At this moment, we don’t have so much to give a comment.”
But Hsieh later added that assuming the P3 is approved by regulators, after next April, 13 of the 20 top carriers would be members of an alliance.
“The remaining seven carriers have taken different measures to cooperate with carriers to offer services to their customers,” he said. “We will not rule out any possibility to join with any alliance or stay independent.”