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hanjin shipA Hanjin Shipping Co ship is seen stranded outside the Port of Long Beach, California, September 8, 2016. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

ReutersBy Nick Carey

CHICAGO, Sept 12 (Reuters) – Following the collapse of Hanjin Shipping Co Ltd, container shipping rates from Asia to the United States spiked 50 percent as the carrier’s customers scrambled for ships. Few shipping industry experts expect those price increases to fix what is wrong with the industry.

Hanjin’s collapse and the resulting chaos in the global shipping sector are symptoms of deeper ills caused by a capacity glut that will remain even after the resolution of Hanjin’s crisis, industry officials and experts told Reuters.

“All of Hanjin’s ships aren’t just going to sink overnight,” said Clint Eisenhauer, vice president for external affairs at the South Carolina Port Authority. “We are going to see the same imbalance between supply and demand, and beyond a short-term spike the impact on rates shouldn’t be dramatic.”

In recent years container ship companies have gone on a spending spree, ordering ever larger vessels based on the assumption of rising trade in consumer goods from China and Asia.

Shipping industry data provider Alphaliner estimates fleet owners will increase container shipping capacity by 3.9 percent in 2016, even as estimates for global demand range from growth of just 1 percent to 3 percent.

According to order book figures from British shipping services firm Clarkson, the global container ship fleet should grow by 16.9 percent between now and 2019.

“These are significant investments that were based on what seemed reasonable forecasts at the time,” said Dean Tracy, principal of consultancy Global Integrated Services and former import transportation director at Lowe’s.

However, exports of goods and services as a percentage of global gross domestic product have slipped in recent years to 29.3 percent in 2015 from 30.7 percent in 2012, according to data compiled by the World Bank.

The mismatch between supply and demand has left 7.4 percent of container ships worldwide sitting idle as of this spring, according to Alphaliner. Consulting firm Drewry said in July it expects a record 150 container vessels would be scrapped this year, but that would “only make a dent” in the excess capacity built between 2010 and 2015.

The capacity overhang has battered container shipping rates and shipping company profits. In mid-February 2015, it cost $2,265 to haul a container from Shanghai to the U.S. West Coast. By late August, the price for shipping a container across the Pacific had fallen by nearly half to $1,153. Rates rose to $1,746 in early September, according to the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index, but remain well short of the earlier peak.

All the major companies have struggled amid a low rate environment. Maersk, the world’s largest container ship company, has warned investors its 2016 profit will be significantly lower than last year, fired its chief executive and announced plans to restructure its business. Germany’s Hapag-Lloyd also warned profits would fall this year.

South Korea’s Hyundai Merchant Marine Co Ltd, the world’s fourteenth largest carrier, avoided collapse earlier this year when it managed to cut a deal with creditors.

“I think the container sector has more serious long term structural problems,” said Ralph Leszczynski, head of research at shipbroker Banchero Costa in Singapore.


The bankruptcy of Hanjin is the largest ever collapse of a container ship company. The world’s seventh biggest carrier has a fleet of 88 ships or around 3 percent of global capacity. Hanjin only owns around 30 of those vessels and runs the rest on charters.

Two questions now are how much of Hanjin’s capacity will be scrapped, which could help firm up shipping rates, and how much will be replaced by rivals seeking to grab market share?

Seaspan Corp Chief Executive Gerry Wang says he has already been approached by a number of other operators who want to lease three ships his company, the largest global lessor of container ships, had placed with Hanjin under long-term contracts.

Wang said Hanjin’s woes could boost container shipping rates as some of the carrier’s older ships should be idled.

“It has been a fiasco, but this could be a positive development for the industry,” he said. “I think we are going to see a shift to stronger, more stable carriers,” he added.


Rival shippers are moving to fill the breach created by Hanjin. Within days of Hanjin’s bankruptcy filing, Maersk and Mediterranean Shipping Company SA, the world’s two largest carriers who have a vessel sharing agreement, announced they would both launch new trans-Pacific services on Sept. 15. Both companies committed six ships each to the new services.

The moves are “symptomatic of the industry’s oversupply problems,” said Chaim Shacham, a consultant and former maritime shipping executive based in New Jersey.

In an email, Soren Egholm, vice president of trade and marketing at Maersk Line North America, said that as a “financially strong company we are currently being approached by many customers on the Transpacific who ask if we can provide alternative transport solutions for their cargo.”

Lawrence Gross, a partner at FTR Transportation Intelligence, said that Hanjin’s collapse could push producers and retailers to more closely scrutinize the shipping companies they choose.

“Customers have treated container shipping as a pure commodity play, but now they realize not all carriers are built the same,” Gross said. “I think we may see a bit of a flight to quality as customers seek more stable partners.”



Izvor   :  Reuters

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cargo bulk ship

ReutersBy Keith Wallis

SINGAPORE, Nov 29 (Reuters) – Sales of second-hand ships used to haul commodities such as iron ore, coal, grain and fertiliser have hit a seven-year high in 2016 as the industry creeps out of an eight-year downturn that has sunk several fleets of shippers.

Seaborne transport, which accounts for 85 percent of global trade, has seen a tentative recovery in the rates shippers charge to carry dry-bulk cargoes, which has encouraged buyers to jump at the bargain prices for second-hand vessels.


Nearly 560 such dry-cargo ships, which as a class make up half the world’s merchant fleet, have changed hands in deals worth $4.3 billion up to the end of November, data from shipbroker Clarkson showed, the highest number since 2009.

“We’ve seen a lot of interest from Asian buyers in 10-15 year old ships, which is partly due to the surge in rates,” said Ziad Nakhleh, managing director of Greek owner Teo Shipping Corporation.

“Mineral demand from China is one of the bright spots for dry bulk,” he told Reuters.

Teo Shipping has put a 15-year old 74,107 deadweight tonne (DWT) panamax bulk carrier called the Cretan Wave up for sale at a price tag of $4.65 million, according to the website.

It is one of thousands of dry cargo ships on the market at traditional and online brokers.

“We believe the sector is approaching a turning point after a long period of depressed rates,” said Aristides Pittas, chairman and chief executive of dry bulk owner Euroseas , which has recently agreed to buy the Capetan Tassos, a 16-year old 75,100 DWT bulk carrier for about $4.4 million.

After crashing to its lowest level on record earlier this year, the Baltic Dry Bulk Index, a basket of freight rates to transport dry raw materials like iron ore, coal and grain, has soared over 300 percent to 1,257 points, albeit still way off its almost 12,000 point peak from 2008.

“It does make more financial sense to buy second-hand at the moment than order new-builds, given the very attractive prices,” said Ralph Leszczynski, head of research at ship broker Banchero Costa (Bancosta) in Singapore.

A five-year old 180,000 DWT iron ore and coal carrier costs around $24 million now compared with $39 million in 2014. A 10-year-old, 32,000-tonne ship to carry fertiliser, logs or steel products is worth around $6.8 million now against $12.5 million two years ago, according to data from shipping services firm Clarkson.


The revenues those cheap ships can generate is on the rise. Average rates for large 180,000 DWT ships, known as capesize, had plunged to around $2,800 per day at the end of January, about 60 percent below daily operating costs of $7,200, but have since recovered to around $22,000 per day, ship broker data showed.

While some of the recovery is cyclical – the first quarter is traditionally the weakest for dry bulk cargo, and the fourth quarter the strongest – freight rates have been buoyed by a rebalancing in cargo demand and vessel supply.

The number of new ship orders dropped to its lowest level in more than 35 years in the first eight months of 2016, Clarkson figures show, while the scrapping of older dry cargo ships hit an all-time record in the first half of the year, says Bancosta.

Tougher controls from September 2017 on seawater pumped in and out of ships could see the demolition of up to 2,500 vessels in a global fleet of 9,500 dry bulk ships over 20,000 DWT, according to a report in mid-November by Bancosta.

Brokers and analysts said the cost of upgrading older vessels didn’t make financial sense.

Cargo demand, meanwhile, is set to rise 1 percent this year after zero growth last year, Bancosta said.

“There are people thinking ship prices are cheap, and if they hold the vessel for two or three years they may see a serious return,” said Nick Shaw, head of shipping at law firm Reed Smith in London.

For all that, after a downturn that triggered bankruptcies across the globe, including Korea’s Hanjin Shipping, one of the world’s biggest container shippers, the industry still has some way to go to return to health.

“Dry-bulk may be off the critical list, but it’s still lying on a hospital bed feeling rather sorry for itself,” said Martin Rowe, managing director of shipbroker Clarksons Platou Asia in Hong Kong.

And though the metrics have improved, the fleet size is still outgrowing the rise in trade, according to Clarkson – a 1.9 percent rise in bulk carrier tonnage versus a 1 percent rise in cargoes this year.

“We need more scrapping, no newbuildings, and expanded trade growth to restore the dry-bulk market to health,” said Rowe.

(Reporting by Keith Wallis; Editing by Henning Gloystein and Will Waterman)



Izvor : Reuters

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