Taiwan shipping giant Evergreen is to flag out up to 30 container ships to the UK, and operate them under the London-based company Hatsu Marine. Some of the ships are being transferred from Taiwan registry.
While the move is partly to cut costs, the deployment of UK flag ships will allow Evergreen to establish direct trade links with the mainland, without contravening political differences. Evergreen sources said the company had begun to grow tired of the political impasse between Taipei and Beijing, and switching flags and ownership of the Taiwan vessels will be a major step towards being able to trade across the Taiwan Strait. Three large ships are already under the UK flag and are being deployed on trans-Pacific trades.
Evergreen has introduced calls at Qingdao on its China Pacific Express, complementing existing calls at Ningbo and Shanghai. This service is operated by ageing Panamanian- flag ships, which are likely to be disposed of shortly.