South Korea Reports Confidence in Maritime Recovery


South Korea’s exports to major trading partners including the US, China and EU all posted double-digit growth in September from a year earlier, according to South Korean government data.

A statement from the nation’s trade ministry showed that South Korea's container shipping sector showed signs of recovery this month following a protracted slowdown in the overall shipping industry.

Shipments to the US jumped 28.9% in September from a year earlier, while those to China and the EU rose 23.4% and 23% respectively.

The business survey index (BSI) of the shipping industry came to 84 for September, up from 73 the previous month, according to the results of a survey of 101 local shipping firms released by the Korea Maritime Institute.

South Korean shippers also believe that the country's container-shipping sector is on the road to recovery after the institute received its highest score from feedback since November 2016.

Read about how the recent shifts in shipping lines’ strategies have strained market conditions in the technical paper 'Busan Mega-Port Continues to Thrive' by Ho-Chul Park, Senior Director of Busan Port Authority, Busan, South Korea

The country’s shippers have been under severe financial strain because of falling freight rates caused by an oversupply of ships and the lengthy period of stabilization after the global financial crisis.

South Korea's shipping industry is still reeling from Hanjin Shipping’s bankruptcy last year.

Once the world’s seventh biggest container shipping company, Hanjin Shipping was forced to enter into court receivership in September last year after its creditors decided not to save the deeply indebted business.

Read more: The US government has voted for safeguards against another Hanjin disaster by granting approval for a US$50 million contingency fund in case a member of the Japanese-led shipping group THE Alliance becomes financially troubled

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