Thailand Maritime News, 2022 Feb – Apr Summary

Thailand cargo turnover and Russian-Ukrainian War
So far, Russian aggression in Ukraine didn’t affect Thailand sea trade and cargo turnover. Containers turnover experienced 10%+ increase in year 2021, while cars exports surged to 1 million, a 22% increase, and there are no signs of decrease. Fuel cost, however, is on the rise, and because this rise is worldwide and is attributed to, mainly, war in Ukraine, it’s the biggest Thailand economical concern, related to the war raging in Eastern Europe. Fuel costs negatively affect not only freight rates, but land transportation costs as well. Government is trying to mitigate negative effect by curbing diesel fuel price, most important for land transportation.

RCL orders 7,000 TEU pair
Regional Container Lines (RCL) has joined a growing number of ship owners who have ordered 7,000 TEU container ships.
The Thai liner operator announced on 25 February that it ordered two vessels of this size from Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding in China, for a total price of US$170 million. Payments will be made in five installments. Waigaoqiao expects to deliver the ships in October 2024 and May 2025.
While RCL’s fleet is dominated by feeder and sub-Panamax ships, the company has also acquired a few second-hand Panamax ships. Last year, the company bought two 12,000 TEU newbuildings from Japanese tonnage provider Shoei Kisen Kaisha and has since chartered these ships to the Israeli box carrier ZIM.
The 7,000 TEU boxships are likely to be deployed to RCL’s Persian Gulf services.
The newbuilding orders coincided with RCL achieving an all-time high full-year net profit of US$539.45 million in 2021, up 930% from 2020, while net profit in Q4 2021 alone totalled US$243.5 million, which was up 544% from Q4 2020.
RCL managing director Sumatra Tanthuwanit said that the Q4 earnings exceeded the company’s expectations.
Martina Li, Asia Correspondent
Container News

Thailand’s Laem Chabang Deep Seaport to Begin Phase 3 Expansion
February 11, 2022
Thailand’s Laem Chabang deep seaport is to begin its Phase 3, 30-billion-baht (US$927 million) expansion that will see the port have a container throughput capacity of 18 million twenty-foot equivalents (TEU) per year once completed in 2029.
The Laem Chabang Port is strategically located in an area surrounded by Thailand’s primary industrial and economic hub — the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC).
Since 1990s, the port has transformed into Thailand’s first deepwater port and one of the busiest in the region, serving as the primary terminal for the export of Thai manufactured goods and imports for consumables and other industrial inputs. According to the World Shipping Council, the Laem Chabang Port was the 20th busiest in the world in 2020 – ahead of other ASEAN ports in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam.
The port’s current 13 terminals can cater to the largest classification of container vessels, known as the Post Panamax, in addition to roll-on/roll-off capabilities, necessary for servicing Thailand’s expanding automobile industry. Under Phase 3, the Laem Chabang Port aims to increase car export accommodation from 2 million units to 3 million units per year.
Currently, approximately 88 percent of transport from the port is via the road system and 9.5 percent by rail. The freight rail hub within Phase 3, called the single rail transfer operator (SRTO), aims to increase the handling capacity of the rail transport from 500,000 TEUs per year to 2 million TEUs per year. This will increase the proportion of container traffic moved by rail to 30 percent.
The Thailand port authority plans to build the SRTO rail hub on some 960,000 square meters of land, featuring six rail sidings with each accommodating two trains simultaneously.
ASEAN Briefing, by Dezan Shira & Associates

New Asia-EU direct container line bypassing container majors
February 6, 2022
Container ship SONGA CHEETAH arrived at Chittagong, Bangladesh, on Feb 5, from Civitavecchia, Italy, her call being the official launch of a new, direct container service between Bangladesh and Italy. RifLine Worldwide Logistics, a freight forwarder based in Rome, Italy, initiated the creation of new service, providing via its’ sister shipping company, Kalypso Compagnia di Navigazione SPA, Italy, two feeder-type container ships, for starters. If first trips are success, more ships are to follow, expanding service geography. Presently, goods exported from Bangladesh are transshipped via four hubs: Colombo, Singapore, Tanjung Pelepas and Port Klang. One of Bangladesh main export items are garments, produced in Bangladesh. Direct line will benefit each involved party, and – last but not least – this service will be cheaper and more reliable, than major container services, releasing the participants from the unreliable and insanely costly services of major container companies.
Hopefully, a new service will be a success, an example to be followed by other nations in South East Asia, presently suffering from artificial container crisis and container majors’ tyranny.
SONGA CHEETAH brought from Italy 945 empty TEUs and 7 TEUs with raw materials for garment factories. The ship is to be loaded with 1,100 TEUs of export goods, mostly readymade garments, destined for Italy/EU.
Container ship SONGA CHEETAH, IMO 9405100, dwt 13760, capacity 1118 TEU, built 2008, flag Liberia, operator Kalypso Compagnia di Navigazione Srl.

New Asia-EU direct container line bypassing container majors



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