Taiwan has become the latest Asian shipping power to attempt to bail out its container shipping industry, as a glut of vessels and lackluster trade growth continue to produce the worst-ever conditions in the industry’s 60-year history, the Financial Times reports. The transportation ministry has offered Evergreen Marine and Yang Ming Marine Transport, the main shipping conglomerates, a $1.9bn relief package including a credit line with preferential interest rates. The move comes after several Chinese and Korean shipping companies have collapsed, while Japan’s big three shipping conglomerates have agreed to merge their container shipping operations. Container shipping expanded rapidly last decade thanks to China’s fast-growing exports, but a glut of huge new ships from Chinese and Korean shipyards and a sharp slowdown in trade growth has left lines struggling to fill their vessels.
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