Carpenters Shipping, At Helm Of It All

Shipping is a vital part of any economy. And Fiji, being a small yet vibrant nation, the hub of the Pacific, is no different. While our focus in Ship Talk
30 Sep 2014 15:01
Carpenters Shipping, At Helm Of It All

Shipping is a vital part of any economy. And Fiji, being a small yet vibrant nation, the hub of the Pacific, is no different.

While our focus in Ship Talk the past two weeks was on inter-island shipping, this week we focus on shipping agents.

Shipping agencies are vital to the shipping industry especially for a nation as small as ours.

And in this respect, we focus on Carpenters Shipping Limited, a division of Carpenters Group (Fiji) Limited.

Carpenters Shipping is the local agent for a number of internationally and regionally-renowned shipping principals, providing connections to and from major ports in the world.

This includes Hapag-Lloyd, NYK Bulk & Projects Carriers Ltd, Kyowa Shipping Co., Ltd, NGPL-JSP Service and the Greater Pacific Service.

Carpenters Shipping is one of the largest shipping and transport companies in Fiji providing a comprehensive range of services.

The company also operates fully-equipped modern Container Terminals in close proximity to Suva and Lautoka ports, with facilities for maintaining freezer containers and with round the clock forklift services.

It also provides computerised container tracking services to the Principals it represents.

Carpenters Shipping general manager, Manikam Narain, says he can hardly make out a day where his entire work was not involved in shipping.

He has an extensive background in shipping and commands the Carpenters Shipping operations in both Suva and the West.

Mr Manikam gives an update from agent’s side.

Describe the performance principals which the company secured early this year? 

At the beginning of the year, we secured two principals which are NYK and Kyowa Line. Although it started slow as it is expected in any new entrance, they have picked up pretty well because the volume kept on increasing. We’re very happy with the performance to date. With the principals we have taken on, its contributed heavily to our revenues.

NYK operates MV South Islander and MV Pacific Islander as South Pacific Link while Kyowa operates MV Tropical Islander and MV Koro Islander as South Pacific Service. And we can see that in the August figures we’re very happy with the uplifting to Fiji.

Any daily traveller to Suva or onlooker towards the Port of Suva would no doubt have noticed an overwhelming increase in vehicles over recent months. Can the agency attest to this?

There are no doubt a big number of vehicles that have come in and they’re still coming.

It’s a huge increase from last year, because there’s no age restriction on Euro 4 second-hand vehicles, hence car importers are taking that advantage.

With second-hand vehicles below Euro 4 standards, the limit is no more than five years, so that has made it possible. However, I feel that the trend may slow down at a later date.

I suspect that all second-hand car dealers are well stocked right now, however that does not imply that there will be huge reduction.

Used vehicles will still come. And together with new vehicles especially given new vehicle companies coming into the fold, there is an increase in all types of vehicles.

However, I don’t know what will happen in the budget for next year. That would be a deciding factor. This is probably why business and individuals are rushing to import second-hand cars..

What do these increased vehicle imports mean for the company? 

This is a big boost for Carpenters Shipping because. We provide the necessary service from the countries these cars are being imported. These are from China, Japan, Korea, Thailand, which are the main exporting countries of vehicles of vehicles into Fiji. Kyowa and NYK are two of our principals which are very strong in bringing cars from Korea and Japan to Fiji and all the other island ports.

With the latest development in Carpenters Shipping, are there likely more principals you’d be securing in future?

We’re trying but I think we already have existing principals which provide services worldwide. The problem is we cannot have conflict of interest otherwise our existing principals won’t be happy. But when we talk about world wide netwok- that we have.

What are the sort of improvement that you’d like to see be implemented in Government policies to move forward in shipping? 

Improvement of port efficiencies is key. Word from the Ports Terminal Limited is that there will be more equipment coming and there will be expected improvement if that eventuates.

I am hopeful that this come true. The other fact is that wharves are getting smaller and the Government has to look for extension and that has to be done.

That has to be done sooner than later.

We’ve been talking about it for the last 20 years and I have been in those meetings.

What are the challenges in place for Carpenters Shipping? 

We want to move forward and we want to be the best being an International Standards Organisation-accredited company and we are the only one in all areas of operation.

Describe your years in shipping and your observation?

Put it this way, the country has moved forward. There were developments taking place, which we all know about and it’s likely that the trend will continue.

The growth in population itself will force a lot of imports into the country as we will live a lot on imported goods. The volume in shipments will definitely increase because the growth in population will demand that.

What does the agency think about the introduction of Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA) software World? 

What is recommended by world standards is that in line with our Fiji Revenue & Customs Authority, all agencies involved in the delivery of goods and services to a country has to be one.

What this means is whatever is supplied to FRCA the same information goes to all government agencies, shipping agencies and basically all shipping stakeholders.

At the moment it is being carried out manually but with its introduction, it would eliminate the hassle of moving around. So it is a positive turn for us.

If you know anyone or you are interersted to feature in our newest SHIP TALK, do send an email to:


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