Help sought for shipping

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 07 October, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 07 October, 1997, 12:00am

A shipping executive has urged governments in Asia to support liner shipping companies by providing better logistics services so that these firms can retain their competitiveness.

Speaking at the 6th Asia Pacific Seatransport Conference, Orient Overseas (International) chairman Tung Chee-chen warned that the key to success was not just related to manufacturing price, but also in the time it took to market the product.

He stressed on the need for government recognition that transport, trade and economies went hand in hand.

Mr Tung said simply increasing vessel sizes was not the solution as deep water port facilities and complementary road infrastructures were lacking.

He said Hong Kong must examine its future role to support and complement the development of larger and deeper ports in the mainland.

'Asia as a region needs to focus and co-ordinate efforts in these areas to maintain our collective competitiveness,' Mr Tung said.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong Shipowners Association chairman George Chao Sze-kwong said the tanker industry was suffering through a tough regime of inspections on chartered vessels. He said charterers had been forced to acknowledge some responsibility for the quality of the ships they put their cargoes into.