The Inspection Principles for Applications by National Vessel Carriers and Foreign Vessel Carriers to Operate Foreign Vessels Transshipment Services were revised by the Maritime and Port Bureau (MPB) of the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MOTC) on April 19, 2017; there are currently 15 transport companies involved in the operation. The revision lowered the inspection requirements in response to the global economic recession, and in consideration of the difficulties in shipment growth for foreign vessel carriers. The revision attracts foreign transport companies to operate in Taiwan and protects the rights of national vessel carriers, while increasing the operational flexibility of our nation's transit containers. Container transshipment throughput was 90,285 TEU in Q2 this year, a 16.59% quarter-on-quarter increase. In combination with the recent economic upturn, estimated throughput is expected to show improvement around the island!
The MPB indicated: According to the statistics by Taiwan International Ports Corporation, Ltd., container transshipment throughput in Taiwan in 2016 was 162,030 TEU, within which Q2 TEU was 77,434 TEU. Since the inspection requirements were revised and lowered in April of this year, 4 new foreign transport companies have been added, and container throughput in Q2 had a significant increase of 16.59% (quarter on quarter). This reached 90,285 TEU, or 55% of overall container throughput of last year. This is a demonstration of the benefits of the Blue Road. In terms of resource consumption, maritime transport volume is huge and crosses natural shipping lanes, which effectively reduces the social cost of on-land transport. Q2 statistics show that on average 1,003 fewer large semi-trailer trucks were used daily. This therefore improved traffic on the roads and around the ports, and reduced transportation risks and air and environmental pollution caused by road transportation. In terms of maritime transport development, the trend toward strategic alliance between global container shippers and larger ships is driving transshipment around the island. This improves vessel space utilization rates, operating flexibility for companies, the convenience of route arrangements, and increases our nation's maritime transport service density. It also attracts docking of foreign ships, improves our nation's port operation performance, and increases the number of containers at the ports.
In order to encourage maritime transport companies to replace semi-trailer truck north- and south-bound transportation with international route ships by (empty vessel transportation), the MPB has lowered the inspection requirements for national (foreign) vessel carriers; originally, foreign transport companies could continue operation only if their annual container offloading volume was greater than the previous year. The MPB has also established additional operation inspection standards for national vessel carriers and their foreign transport companies. Preliminary results have already been demonstrated. The MPB will continue to monitor transshipment results around the island, and to conduct rolling reviews once every two years.