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aws全区号(www.2km.me)_Harbour-Link bullish on containerised shipping operations

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Group managing director Datuk Yong Piaw Soon (pic) says ocean freight rates for intra-Asia trade had doubled in the past 12 months and the space utilisation of Harbour-Link’s 12 container vessels had surged to the current 90%, which is higher than 70% to 75% recorded in pre-Covid-19 period.

Harbour-Link Group Bhd is bullish about its containerised shipping business, which has been boosted by strong demand in cargo transportation and rising ocean freight rates in the region.

Group managing director Datuk Yong Piaw Soon (pic) says ocean freight rates for intra-Asia trade had doubled in the past 12 months and the space utilisation of Harbour-Link’s 12 container vessels had surged to the current 90%, which is higher than 70% to 75% recorded in pre-Covid-19 period.

“Our container line service in intra-Asia trade covers China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan,” he tells StarBizWeek. The group has overseas operation offices in China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore and Brunei.

Harbour-Link’s domestic container shipping services cover major ports in Peninsula Malaysia, Sarawak and Sabah where its operation offices are located in major towns.

The company has also benefitted from the increase in export-oriented cargo volume from the local manufacturing as well as oil and gas sectors following the easing of lockdown measures.

The double-effect of higher vessel utilisation and freight rates led to a 40% increase in group revenue of shipping and marine segment to RM117mil in the fourth quarter ended June 30, 2021 from RM83.4mil in the fourth quarter of 2020.

The segment made a major turnaround with an after-tax profit of RM32mil from a loss of RM9.35mil previously.

For the financial year 2021 (FY21), the segment recorded a 6% rise in group revenue to RM394.5mil versus FY20’s RM371.6mil. Its after-tax profit soared to about RM62mil from a net loss of RM1.26mil previously.

In FY21, Bintulu-based Harbour-Link posted a group revenue of RM626.2mil, with net profit coming in at RM61.5mil as opposed to RM25.9mil a year ago.

Yong expects the current strong demand for cargo transportation and favourable ocean freight rates to be sustained until Chinese New Year or the first quarter of 2022.

In the long term, he says there is still a lot of uncertainties on the global front due to the adverse impact of Covid-19 pandemic.

On reports of acute shortage of containers globally, he says this has not affected Harbour-Link as it has enough containers to work on.

Harbour-Link container liner service maintains a total fleet tonnage of 5,200 TEUs (20-ft equivalent units), which according to him is ideal to cater for existing market demand along with satisfactory utilisation rates.

The fleet is well-managed by the group’s in-house ship management team, with minimal breakdowns that resulted in the reduction in slot cost.

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