Leaders and Visionaries in Shipping – Dr.Chang Yung-Fa

In any industry, there are Leaders and Visionaries who innovate, design, create and shape it, benefiting everyone in the chain..

The Maritime, Shipping, Freight, Logistics and Supply Chain industries are no exception..

Through a series of articles, Shipping and Freight Resource would like to pay tribute to Leaders and Visionaries who shaped the modern day shipping industry..

In this article we feature Dr.Chang Yung-Fa one of the Leaders and Visionaries who shaped the modern day shipping industry..


Who is Dr.Chang Yung-Fa and why is he a leader and visionary..??


Dr.Chang Yung-Fa was the founding father of Evergreen Marine Corporation (EMC) currently the 7th largest container shipping line in the world..

The 3rd of seven children, Dr.Chang cut his teeth in the shipping industry working as an office clerk at a Japanese steamship line (Miname Nippon Steamship) in Keelung, Taiwan, learning many aspects of the business..

This experience and probably inspired by his father who was also a seafarer, he spent 15 years at sea working for several shipping companies progressing through the ranks becoming a 3rd Office and eventually becoming a Captain, taking command of a 2,000 DWT freighter..

In 1961, he founded New Taiwan Marine a small shipping agency along with two partners only to leave four years later to join two other partners in a new venture called Central Marine..

These partnerships did not work and Dr.Chang eventually started his own company Evergreen Marine Corporation (EMC) in September 1968..

Leaders and Visionaries in Shipping and Freight - Dr.Chang Yung-Fa

The EMC that Dr.Chang started with a single breakbulk ship is currently the 7th largest container shipping line in the world operating 205 ships (116 owned and 89 chartered) and 1,197,826 TEUs accounting for a market share of 5.3% globally..

While EMC started out as a regional break-bulk carrier around Taiwan, it soon extended its services and started to operate ships between Taiwan, Caribbean and the Middle East..

Being the visionary that he was and reading the trend of containerisation correctly and how containerisation was shaping the global trade, Dr.Chung signed up to construct the company’s first container ships in 1972..

Dr.Chang’s strategy was to operate as an independent carrier while at the same time competing with the regional and global carriers who formed part of liner conferences..

Liner conferences which operated in those days (before the days of global shipping alliances) consisted of few shipping lines who set rates jointly for their members and for this reason remained closed to outside lines (like EMC)..

EMC entered the US trade in 1976 challenging the likes of then giants United States Lines on their East Coast and West Coast Services followed by a European service in 1979..

His most ambitious plan of that time was still the start of 2 Round The World (RTW) services one navigating East to West and the other navigating West to East around the globe, taking 80 days for the journey (wonder if the 80 days around the world was inspired by Jules Verne……….!!)..

The collapse of US Lines in 1986 paved the way for EMC to then become the largest container line in terms of vessel capacity..

This service which started in 1984 had ships with a TEU capacity of 2,728 (nothing to sniff at in those days) and the success of these services has probably resulted in the first of 11 mega-ships ordered by EMC..

EMC’s largest ship “Ever Golden” delivered in April 2018 has a capacity of 20,150 TEUs and is currently part of the Ocean Alliance’s NEU3 Asia-Europe service.. Of the 11 mega-ships of 20,150 TEUs ordered, 3 have been delivered and the balance 8 will be delivered before September 2019..

Not just in shipping, Dr.Chang was also involved in driving the growth of Taiwan’s travel and tourism industry through the formation of his EVA Air in 1989 which is now a Star Alliance member.. Besides that, the Evergreen Group also is reported to have interests in aircraft maintenance, engine overhaul and manufacturing of aircraft parts, playing an important role in building up Taiwan’s aviation supply chain..

The growth and expansion of the Evergreen Group has created a global network of offices and businesses in more than 110 countries providing investments, growth and development for numerous related industries, including container shipping, aviation and hotels, etc which has also enhanced Taiwan’s economic cooperation with other countries..

Dr. Chang believed in giving back to society and in 1985, set up the Chang Yung-Fa Foundation, an organization committed to providing emergency and medical aid, promoting education and culture and elevating moral standards..

Dr.Chang Yung-Fa passed away in January 2016 at the age of 88.. The President of Taiwan Ma Ying-Jeou honored Dr. Chang Yung-Fa with a posthumous commendation in recognition of his contributions to international transportation and social welfare..

On the 1st of September 2018, Evergreen Marine Corporation celebrated its 50th anniversary and in this golden year, Shipping and Freight Resource recognises and salutes Dr.Chang Yung-Fa as one of the leaders and visionaries who shaped the modern day shipping and freight industry..



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3 thoughts on “Leaders and Visionaries in Shipping – Dr.Chang Yung-Fa”

  1. the successful story strive morals, ambition and dedications to realize ones vision.It really helps to stick and work professionally.

  2. I am delighted to read how Dr.Chang has grown from a clerk to owning a big company which is the seventh biggest shipping line in the world. This is a lesson to young men and women,to remain focused and be patient as they work towards achieving their goals. I salute EMC fraternity as they celebrate 50 years of success.


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