"We are very confident about achieving this year's goal," China Daily quoted Chang Dechuan, chairman of Qingdao Port (Group) Co., as saying in an interview during the recently held World Shipping (China) Summit 2012 in Xiamen, Fujian.
China Daily said the world shipping industry has been struggling with difficult market conditions since the latter half of 2011, due to the ongoing eurozone debt troubles and cooling economic expansion in China, which has put downward pressure on global demand for Chinese exports, as well as China's appetite for bulk commodities such as coal and crude oil.
It quoted trade experts and industry analysts as saying that the declining market is likely to persist for the next few years with no substantial recovery in external or domestic demand in sight for the next two to three years.
The newspaper quoted Chang
as saying Chinese ports are generally suffering from overcapacity.
"The current economic slowdown will intensify competition between ports and may also lead to industry consolidation," Chang
Given the declining shipping market, Chang
said Qingdao port
will lower its charges to help shipping liners weather this difficult period, according to the report.
"Ports and shipping companies should brace themselves and help each other in the face of uncertainties in the global and domestic economies," he
was quoted as saying.
In addition, the port also intends to build a 300,000-ton oil terminal and a coal terminal whose capacity "is still under discussion", Chang
told the newspaper.