Friday, September 4, 2009

Sea Container Manufacturer Diversifies

Lamentable state of freight trade forces changes
Shipping News Feature

HONG KONG, CHINA - Singamas Container Holdings Ltd the group holding company, which includes logistics management operators and numbering the world's second largest producer of sea containers amongst their companies, have proved good to their word and are branching out into more profitable markets in order to survive the ocean freight downturn of the past few months.

In a profit warning issued by the Hong Kong based group in July, and based on a preliminary assessment of the groups figures to 30th June 2009, Chairman Mr Chang Yun Chung (also known as Teo Woon Tiong) said that to counter the decline, the Group had “implemented a series of cost control measures and continued its focus in expanding its product mix by developing more higher-margin specialised containers.”

The group operates throughout Indonesia, the Bahamas and the British Virgin Islands in addition to China and manufactures dry freight, reefer, flat-rack and tank containers and associated products and has now declared its intention to add to its range by moving away from traditional sea freight boxes.

Many countries in the world have converted old boxes into housing, storage etc. but now Singamas are to produce ready fitted housing units from its Chinese production facilities. The units will cost between $30, 000 and $100,000 dependent on number of rooms, fixtures and fittings etc. and are seen as essential to the groups profitability after production of standard sea containers was slashed by 95% earlier this year.The group has also provided highly specialised units in the form of live fish carriers and rubbish compaction containers and is bidding for more large contracts in these spheres.

The “added value” policy would seem to be prudent as the cost of a basic sea container at source is circa $2100 whereas the cooled fish carrying units, which the company claim to have sold 400 of so far, cost in excess of $25,000.

Standard container production is down enormously globally with many empty units at sea or stacked in container parks.