The Globe and Mail

Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

A container ship owned by Chinese shipping company Cosco makes its way into the harbour in Vancouver. An alliance of China’s two state-owned shipping majors – Cosco and China Shipping – was allowed this year before a European shippers’ merger was blocked.
A container ship owned by Chinese shipping company Cosco makes its way into the harbour in Vancouver. An alliance of China’s two state-owned shipping majors – Cosco and China Shipping – was allowed this year before a European shippers’ merger was blocked.
(DARRYL DYCK For The Globe and Mail)

As China flexes its muscle, foreign companies quiver

When the world’s three biggest container shipping companies decided to pool their capacity, it seemed like a sensible solution to a vexing problem.

A weakened global economy had reduced shipping volumes just as an influx of massive new container vessels started plying the busy Asia-Europe routes. The resulting excess capacity and lower prices left profits adrift in the doldrums and companies with a pressing need to reduce costs.