NYK may double the number of car carriers it had planned to scrap by 2010 in the face of production cuts at Toyota, Honda and Nissan. The number could reach 40, instead of the already planned 20, according to comments made last week by Mikitoshi Kai, head of investor relations at the company.
Requests for export plans from the carmakers for the next year are not being answered, Kai told reporters. NYK predicts car exports will drop by more than a third in the current quarter with exports in the US alone falling 34% in December, the biggest drop since 1972 when records began.
Rival car carrier MOL also plans to scrap 15 PCTCs by the end of March, the first time it has done so in seven years. It will mean a drop in operational vessels from an existing 100 to around 75.
The shipping line has also been restructuring container operations over the past weeks. Along with fellow Grand Alliance members Hapag-Lloyd, MISC Berhad and OOCL, it changed its Asia-East Med/Black Sea route, as well as its Pacific North West trade.
The Grand Alliance is now offering an East Med/Black Sea Express service (EMX) and a new trans-Pacific service in co-operation with ZIM Lines. The first sailing of the EMX service, on the ZIM Yokohama, arrived in Pusan at the beginning of this week.
Meanwhile, Hapag-Lloyd is increasing tariff rates from the beginning of April. Incoming westbound trade from East Asia will be $1,000 for a TEU, $2,000 for a FEU and $2,100 for a 40ft high cube container. Services from Europe to Asia will also increase with a TEU costing $250 and FEU rising to $500.
APL and Maersk Lines have also confirmed rate increases on the Asia-Europe trade.