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Israeli Shipping Line Caught in Profit Squeeze but is Expanding

The Zim Lines, Israel’s national shipping company, registered a profit of IL 19.3 million in 1972. But it “Was a mere three percent of the international carrier’s IL 650 million turnover, managing director Moshe Kashti reported today.

Kashti said that the 1972 profit was 0.9 percent less than that in 1971 and forecast a further decline for 1973 even though most Zim services are flourishing. He said the profit squeeze stemmed mainly from this year’s 40 percent wage rise granted officers, seamen and shore staff and the heavy losses incurred from harbor congestion in Israel during the first half of the year.

Kashti said Zim was presently embarked on a major new building program representing an investment of $280 million. When completed the Zim fleet will reach 2.4 million tons deadweight (carrying capacity), he said. The last of four Clyde-type dual-purpose freighters will be delivered from a British shipyard next month and four other ships, including a 250,000 deadweight ton tanker will be delivered during the next few months.

Kashti said the company is already working on further expansion plans involving an investment of between $200-$300 million that will add another million tons deadweight to Israel’s merchant marine.

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