COSCO may make a bid of more than $4 billion for Hong Kong-based Orient Overseas Container Line, according to various media reports.
The deployment of ultra-large containerships has not only increased average vessel size on key east west trades, but has accelerated the consolidation of carriers into vessel sharing agreements and alliances.
The container freight market is strengthening as carriers begin some 2017 negotiations, and Drewry said some shippers could see contract rates rise 20-40 percent in worst case scenarios.
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Shares in Orient Overseas International Ltd., the parent company of ocean carrier Orient Overseas Container Line, have jumped more than 25 percent since the end of 2016, reaching a 52-week high on Wednesday.
Investments in new projects are slowing, and Neil Davidson, senior analyst in Drewry’s ports and terminals practice, warned that a sudden rebound in demand could be a problem.
The agreement, which will infuse $26 billion into the state-run ocean shipping conglomerate over the next five years, will serve China's "One Belt, One Road" strategy, according to a statement from China COSCO Shipping.