Shipping options in the Asia-Pacific region are changing dramatically as the Asian financial crisis intensifies.
The financial crisis has led to the biggest surge in container shipping in history, with shipments of $US6 trillion ($7.4 trillion) coming through the ports of Hong Kong and Shanghai in the past year alone.
With China, which has been under tight sanctions since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, facing mounting pressures to curb imports of goods, companies and services, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find reliable shipping options to customers in the region.
“There is a real concern about the future of shipping, the future that will be available if we continue to rely on China for our shipping,” said Matthew Henningsen, the Asia Pacific regional manager for logistics company Exelon.
China’s financial crisis, which began in 2014, has been compounded by a rise in its own trade surplus, driven by the sharp rise in the price of its goods.
That has left the world’s second-biggest economy facing a huge trade deficit with its neighbors.
While shipping is no longer the sole option for most customers in Asia, it has become increasingly difficult for many in the world to find alternatives to China.
With more than a quarter of the world economy dependent on exports from China, and with some regions in the continent already suffering from severe food shortages, shipping services are increasingly important to countries and economies around the world.
The World Trade Organization has been investigating how to regulate the supply of goods in the Asian region, but many of the options are still in the early stages of implementation.
A growing number of shipping companies have taken advantage of the changing landscape to offer high-end, high-quality, high value services to customers, including cargo and logistics companies that are able to bring their own logistics and warehousing expertise to bear.
Exelon has a presence in Singapore, where it offers container-handling services to some of the country’s biggest companies, and in Hong Kong, where its fleet is used for shipping the likes of Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Volkswagen.
To find the most cost-effective way to ship to customers around the globe, Exelons ships its services in a fleet of more than 6,500 vessels that can accommodate 1,000 passengers.
It has more than 600 container ships in the Caribbean, where some of its customers are based.
At the same time, there are plenty of other options for people in Asia looking to move their goods to a local warehouse or distribution center, which is cheaper than shipping directly from China.
“There are plenty and plenty of opportunities for those looking to make a trade in Asia and be able to get it to their destination in a cost-efficient manner,” said Henniesen.
Despite its increased presence in Asia-pacific shipping, Exelsons shipping costs have been dropping.
It is currently able to ship shipments to customers for a little over $US2,000 per container in China, down from the $US10,000 a container that it used to cost in 2017, according to its CEO, Scott Miller.
But as the financial crisis in China has deepened, so has its ability to move shipments through the system.
Exelones main competitors have cut prices and shifted the price base to more efficient carriers.
And while some companies are moving into Asia to continue to make profits, others are finding it increasingly difficult.
In the U.S., which has seen the largest increase in shipping in the history of the United States, the price for cargo shipping in 2017 was $US1,100 per container, down 5% from 2016, according an industry survey.
In the Asia and Pacific region, however, some of Exelos biggest competitors are starting to see their prices drop.
Last week, Exelnos largest competitor, Wrigley, said it would no longer carry products from the Asian giant after the company reported that it had lost more than $US40 million in 2016 alone.
In a statement, Wrexham, Indiana-based Exelonics CEO Mark Fagan said the company would start to sell products from its U.K. and China warehouse network and would be looking to re-invest to expand its presence in the market.
Fagan also said that the company was also preparing to expand the network in Europe and Latin America.
Miller said that while Exelron’s prices were dropping, its competitors were still charging as much as $US4,000 or more per container.
Still, some experts say that shipping companies are simply not up to the task of moving a huge volume of cargo from one country to another.
There are only so many containers in a ship and once they are all in place, there is little that can be done to fix problems, said Michael Mazzucchelli, an associate professor of maritime economics at the University of New Hampshire.
If a cargo ship