Mumbai: German container shipping company Senator Lines GmbH will discontinue its global operations by 28 February, the firm announced on Monday. Hanjin Shipping Co. Ltd, Korea’s largest container line, owns 80% of Senator Lines, which operates one direct service to west Asia through Pipavav (Gujarat) and Nhava Sheva (Navi Mumbai) ports in India.
“According to the board of Senator, there are no positive signals to be foreseen for 2009 and there are not even any freight rate improvements visible on the long term. All these facts have resulted in this painful decision,” said Ajtje Stephan, a public relations manager at Senator Lines, in an email.
Freight rates for container ships from India have also fallen by almost 80% over the past six months.
A senior executive at a shipping company said on condition of anonymity that at least two small carriers and two large freight forwarding firms are considering action similar to Senator Lines.
Stephan said the decision to cease trading is a result of the financial and economic crisis and the consequent reduction in volumes. Overcapacity and an extremely unhealthy competitive scenario, especially on the east-west routes, also contributed to the decision, she said.