Tonnage shows an increase as ferries decline

PUBLISHED : Friday, 26 March, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 26 March, 1999, 12:00am

Despite an 11 per cent increase in deadweight tonnage, the number of ships owned, managed or operated by Hong Kong companies fell by 8 per cent last year.

A Hong Kong Shipowners Association (HKSOA) statement said the decline was possibly due to several ferries leaving association membership.

HKSOA members had 1,118 vessels on December 1 last year, compared with 1,214 a year before. The fleet was made up of 57.77 million deadweight tonnes (dwt), compared with 52.2 million dwt in 1997. Gross tonnage was 34.2 million tonnes.

HKSOA members had 267 vessels, totalling 9.32 million dwt, on the Hong Kong register.

The Panamanian register attracted the most vessels, 355 of 15.47 million dwt, from Hong Kong shipowners. The Liberian register took 187 vessels of 14.83 million dwt and Singapore 51 vessels of 3.08 million dwt.

Shipowners also registered 36 vessels, of 3.39 million dwt, in Norway, 35 in the Philippines (1.17 million dwt), 29 in the Bahamas (2.23 million dwt), 24 in Bermuda (2.38 million dwt), 18 in Cyprus (406,898 dwt) and 11 in Thailand (462,923 dwt).

HKSOA said the People's Republic of China flag saw a reduction in the number of ships and deadweight tonnes, possibly reflecting removal of general-cargo vessels.

The number of bulk carriers rose by seven to 501 and tonnage increased by 8.5 per cent to 33.61 million dwt.

General-cargo vessels fell by 55 per cent to 59, but tonnage remained steady at 904,744 dwt.

Indians made up 37 per cent of officers on HKSOA members' vessels, Filipinos 19 per cent, mainland Chinese 19 per cent, Hong Kong 7 per cent and others 18 per cent.

Filipinos made up 36 per cent of seafarers, mainlanders 28 per cent, Indians 18 per cent, Hong Kongers 8 per cent and others 10 per cent.