China is to reduce port charges, the latest support for the loss-making sector.

Cutting payable items and giving the market a bigger say, the government has revised rules on charges, which is expected to save a further 200 million yuan (around 30 million U.S.

dollars) each year for shipping companies, following a series of other favorable measures.

The charging system was also altered, with adjustments in fees for tug services and pilotage.

The new rules came as good news for struggling shipping firms. The global shipping sector remained weak in the last year, with more firms reporting losses.

Wu Chungeng, spokesperson for the Ministry of Transport (MOT), said changes to port charges since 2014 have brought down corporate costs by 1 billion yuan each year, with payable items down to 18 from 45, and better information disclosure.

Effective for five years from September 15, the new rules were published by MOT and the National Development and Reform Commission.