Celebrating two decades in China, our agency business continues to thrive despite the slow-down in the Chinese economy.
Group CEO Thomas Wilhelmsen visited Wilhelmsen Huayang Ships Service (WHSS) to celebrate their 20th anniversary earlier this year. Over 140 clients, guests, employees and friends were entertained by traditional Chinese folk performances.
WSS IN CHINA
Wilhelmsen formed a joint venture with Huayang Maritime Centre in 1996. Huayang is owned by China’s Ministry of Transport.
20 years later, Wilhelmsen/Huayang is the strongest international agency company on the ground in China, both in terms of business volume and network reach. Last year, 5000 port calls took place.
Wilhelmsen/Huayang provides a single point of contact at the initial stage of an agency inquiry, with Shanghai acting as the hub for all of China. By establishing its own agency offices at the major ports in China, Wilhelmsen/Huayang is able to liaise with the local ports and understand their particular and often inconsistent rules. This means Wilhelmsen/Huayang can provide clients with all the information necessary for a smooth call even before the vessel arrives.
A GROWING ECONOMY
China’s economy grew 6.7 % year-on-year in Q1 2016, the lowest growth since the financial crisis of 2009. However, China remains one of the fastest growing economies in the world and is actually growing more today in absolute terms, than it was at double-digit growth figures in the mid-2000s.
Commonly known as the world’s factory, China imported 2.11 billion tons of raw material and products by sea in 2015 and exported 570 million tons the same year. China controlled almost 5,000 vessels at the beginning of 2016 making it the world’s largest fleet.
Chinese shipowning is dominated by government-controlled entities. While Dry bulk, Container and Tankers dominate the current fleet, Gas and Cruise are two key segments of interest, expected to grow over the next years.