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Strait Times: 2016, A year of tumult for shipping

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Straitstimes / For an industry that has seen no end of drama over the past six years or so, 2016 will go down as one of the stormiest 12 months on record.

And there is plenty of uncertainty surrounding global trade in 2017 as well, which could continue to weigh on Singapore, given its role as a maritime hub.

The turbulence has been coming from all directions this year, led by an unprecedented wave of mergers and acquisitions (M&As), which included the completion of French shipping giant CMA CGM’s historic $3.38 billion buyout of Singapore’s own Neptune Orient Lines (NOL).

But what really shook the market was the full-blown bankruptcy of South Korea’s biggest shipping line, Hanjin Shipping Company – a catastrophe that triggered a massive disruption in global trade when the group filed for court receivership on Aug 31.

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