Financial crisis brings ships to rest

Published by rudy Date posted on April 5, 2009

MALALAG, DAVAO DEL SUR, Philippines—The global recession continues to hurt international shipping companies, forcing them to have their ships berthed in ports with lower fees, a port official said Saturday.

Josie Fernandez, in charge of the Malalag Port Authority here, said international shipping companies have contracted vessel lay-up companies to do the berthing job for them in the wake of the lack of cargo to ship.For example, in the port here, Fernandez said that at least 13 foreign container vessels had berthed since January through the Singapore-based Lacerta Shipping and the Manila-based Asia Pacific Chartering Philippines (APC).

Most of the vessels belong to international shipping companies based in China, Korea, Greece, Hong Kong, Europe, and Italy, she said.

“Because of the crisis, they don’t want to spend more so they decided to have their ships berthed here as we collect lower fees compared to other ports,” Fernandez said.

She said more shipping companies have expressed their intention to have their vessels berthed here as they tried to weather the crisis.

Fernandez said they were expecting 20 more vessels in the coming days.

“They really can save here,” she said, without specifying how much a company spends for one ship berthed here.

Asked if there were Filipino seamen involved in the crisis-hit companies, Fernandez said they would still have to determine it.

The Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) has hinted that the global financial crisis could send many Overseas Filipino Workers in the shipping industry home.

Orlando Dinoy, Inquirer Mindanao

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