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  • 20 May 2014 9:13 AM | Anonymous

    The dry bulk market is bound for a recovery in the coming weeks, as the market will be better balanced, said Mr. Michael Bodouroglou, Chairman and CEO of Paragon Shipping, in an interview with Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide. Mr. Bodouroglou attributed the lacklustre performance of the market since the start of the year to a high level of newbuilding deliveries and a slowdown of grain and iron ore trade. In terms of Paragon Shipping's fleet growth, Mr. Bodouroglou expressed the view, that, at the moment, it makes more business sense to invest in second hand tonnage or newbuilding resales, rather than newbuildings, given that quality yards have been fully booked for the coming years. He also noted that financing terms remain challenging for smaller owners, creating a two-tier market, while the emergence of private equity funds, as a viable alternative, could create a lot of turmoil in the industry, should they decide to exit the market all at once.

    Many analysts, including BIMCO among others, have been preaching about the pending rebound of dry bulk rates during 2014 and its improved prospects going forward. Why haven't we witnessed such an improvement in the market so far in the year?

    To be fair, the market this year has done better than in the year-ago period, however many people including ourselves expected a much stronger market by now and rates are still at low levels. There are many reasons why the rebound hasn’t happened yet. There was a large amount of deliveries in the first quarter (Roughly 16M DWT of capacity was delivered in 1Q14 (equating to an annualized growth of 8%)), as many owners delayed delivery of late 2013 vessels into early 2014. For the remainder of the year the deliveries will stabilize, and we expect fleet growth of 6% for the full year. There were also seems to be a slowdown out of South America both for grains and iron ore, and many owners expected a strong trade this year and ballasted their ships to South America to take advantage of a strong market, which caused oversupply in the market and depressed rates further. 

    Do you share the view that the coming weeks we will see a rebound of the market, on the back of higher China restocking, as a result of low iron ore prices?

    Yes we do, we believe the events that have caused the weakness in the market are temporary and will eventually reverse themselves. We expect the low iron ore prices to boost imports to China, while we also expect a solid grain trade out of the US, and a continued strong grain trade out of South America as political issues in Argentina get worked out.  These two factors, along with a slower delivery schedule for the rest of the year, should cause a very strong fourth quarter, and rates may even start to improve as soon as the summer.

    In terms of the container market, where you are also active through Box Ships Inc., do you expect to see a rebound soon, after a dismal first quarter?

    The Containership market has been in a downturn now for over five years, due to several structural changes regarding vessel size, a continued oversupply of vessels, and at the same time has seen a decline in the largest container route, China to Europe, for the past two years.  That being said, we do expect the market to rebound but it is difficult to predict when it will start as there continues to be new ordering of larger vessels and it becomes more a factor of demand growth from Europe returning.

    Which is your chartering strategy among this environment for both companies?

    At this stage in the cycle we believe it is best to run our vessels in the spot market or on short term charters to take advantage of the rising market rates as the markets recover. We have this strategy at both companies currently. 

    Ship owners have been investing heavily both in newbuildings, as well as second hand vessels over the past few months. Do you think that ship prices have bottomed out?

    It depends on the sector. For Containerships, prices have definitely bottomed and in todays market you can find some 10 year old vessels trading close to their scrap value, so they can’t get much lower. However, newbuilding prices have been strong and on the rise due to the increased demand for “eco” vessels, so newbuilding prices have risen significantly over the past year. In drybulk, second hand values have risen faster than rates as many people expect a recovery as we have discussed, so they are not close to the bottom and have been rising significantly over the past year.

    How many ships have you added to Paragon's fleet since the start of 2013? Which segment has been the focus?

    At Paragon, we have ordered four Ultramax newbuildings and three Kamsarmax newbuildings since the start of 2013. We believe Ultramaxes are versatile vessels that can go into many ports and carry many different cargo types. We also like Kamsarmaxes as they are the new Panamaxes and we expect these vessels to be the workhorses of the industry going forward. That being said, we have a balanced approach when it comes to the segments of the drybulk market and like to have a fleet with several vessels of each class so you can have a diversified fleet to mitigate risks in any one sector.

    In terms of your future plans, which has been the main focal point, newbuildings or acquisitions of modern tonnage through the second hand market?

    We base our acquisition strategy on where we believe we can get the best value. In early 2013 until recently, we believed that the best value was through ordering new “eco” design vessels at quality shipyards at historically low prices. At the same time, second hand values seemed to get a bit ahead of themselves, so it made the most sense to buy newbuildings. More recently, quality shipyards cannot sell you a ship with delivery any time soon, so that makes second-hand tonnage or newbuild resales a more interesting acquisition target.

    Are you a "believer" of the benefits of the new generation of Eco Carriers?

    I believe that every new design of vessel is an improvement on the previous designs.  These new “eco” designs are definitely more fuel efficient and have some benefits, mainly because for the first time ship owners are worried about fuel consumption, so shipyards had to alter their designs with fuel savings in mind. When you build vessels to save on fuel consumption, you take away from other features. The “innovations’ the shipyards are doing now are not new, these designs are not a step change in fuel efficiency like back when the vessels switched from coal powered engines to bunker-fuel power. However, they have their benefits and given the fuel prices make a compelling argument. 

    Is financing availability improved, when compared to previous years, or are interest rates and costs still high?

    In today’s world there is less financing to less owners at lower advance rates. This is a fact of life, but we find ourselves in the position where financing is readily available to us. It is interesting because every bank has a list of clients they want to lend to and those lists are not very long. Given this, it has caused margins on loans to fall for certain owners at a time when smaller shipowners are still paying high costs. This is causing a two tier market in the industry and is causing problems for the smaller owners.

    Have you been looking to take advantage of the emergence of alternative sources of financing in shipping over the past couple of years, such as private equity funds? What's your opinion of those new investors in shipping? Do you share the view of some industry pundits that they could hurt shipping, as a result of their lack of familiarization with this particular segment?

    We are always open to alternative sources of financing, and have spoken to private equity funds, but in the end believed it wasn’t for us. My opinion of private equity is that they are filling a gap in the industry that was created by the decline in bank financing, and other sources of equity that dried up during the crisis years. They see that they can make good returns and have invested. Many of them have partnered with shipping veterans to help them navigate the industry, but a few have decided to go it alone and that could hurt shipping. My biggest concern is how they will exit, because if they all decide to exit at once, it will put a tremendous strain on the industry. 


  • 19 May 2014 9:28 AM | Anonymous

    Turku’s STX shipyard is expected to receive a new owner by the end of June. Prime Minister Katainen denies that the early public announcement of the sale is politically motivated.

    According to Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen (National Coalition Party), state involvement in the ownership of STX’s Turku shipyard is difficult to avoid.

    Prime Minister Katainen told Yle’s Radio Suomi that the government could, over time, sell its stake to private owners if the planned buyout took place. The State of Finland and German cruise liner builder Meyer Werft are considering the purchase of STX Finland's Turku operations from the current Korean owner.

    “The state’s central goal is not to own the shipyard or to be a shipbuilding entrepreneur,” says Katainen. “But if the shipbuilding business in Finland is to be seen as competitive in the future, then the central goal is that it should be possible. As a result we are ready to take part as a minority shareholder.”

    According to Katainen, the State's participation will depend on finding a private industrial majority shareholder. He says that Meyer Werft, or any other similar firm could be considered.

    Katainen denies that the upcoming race for NCP leadership had a bearing on the early publication of the letter of intent related to the sale.

    “These issues can''t be politicised,” said Katainen.


  • 18 May 2014 9:12 AM | Anonymous

    The adjustment of global ports to handle larger containerships is well underway, but the first objective in many cases is well shy of the trend of the order book. While attention is focused on the new fleet of 18,000 teu vessels, the upgrades contemplate ships just over half that size.

    That is certainly so in the Americas, where the Panama Canal is being enlarged to accommodate up to 13,000 teu, not the larger ships, and collateral ports up and down the East Coast are planning on the services of the 10,000-teu variety.

    The 18,000+ teu ultra large container ship (ULCS) is being built for the Asia–Europe market, and their usage may be locked in there, due to its dependency on accompanying investments in deep ports and inland distribution capabilities, and access to major cargo markets.

    Meanwhile, ports eager to achieve a place in the container sun have purchased larger container cranes and are committing to a $1bn port upgrade that has become ubiquitous.

    Ports up and down the U. S. East Coast have been dredging and upgrading to adjust to the future sizing of the Panama Canal, which is now being pushed back to 2016.

    Last week, U.S. House and the Senate conferees agreed to end a torturous legislative deadlock and permit ports to pay the cost of deepening harbors and then seek reimbursement from the government once the project is authorized. The last dredging legislation was passed seven years ago.

    If finally approved, this would clear the way for various projects, starting with the deepening of the Sabine-Neches Waterway that connects the oil-refining hub of Beaumont and Port Arthur, Texas to the Gulf of Mexico. Another would permit the start of dredging the 30-mile run to the Port of Savannah so as to accommodate larger ships transiting an expanded Panama Canal.

    A new entrant has joined the Panama expansion parade. In Cuba, that island is extolling the virtues of its newly opened port at Mariel, outside of Havana. The $1bn Brazil-sponsored port, designed to handle up to 1 million teu, is deemed a keystone in the eventual lifting of the US trade embargo.

    In Angola, the port has installed new cranes and reduced cargo unloading time as the government reviews a plan to build Africa's biggest shipping terminal to challenge the current leader at Durban. The port would handle ships up to 13,000 teu, according to its backers, but funding has not been arranged.


  • 17 May 2014 10:11 AM | Anonymous

    THE Port of Los Angeles April container volume increased 10.26 per cent year on year 706,036 TEU, the harbour's busiest month since September 2013 the port authority announced.

    Container imports rose 11.43 per cent year on year to 537,071 TEU in April 2014. Exports rose eight per cent to 172,945 TEU.

    Combined, total loaded imports and exports increased 10.30 per cent to 537,071 TEU in April 2014. For the first four months of calendar year 2014, overall volumes (2,626,647 TEU) have increased 8.21 per cent compared to the same period in 2013.


  • 16 May 2014 10:01 AM | Anonymous

    Triton Overseas Transport, an American-owned and operated non-vessel owning common carrier and international freight service provider, has announced the appointment of Robert Blair to the position of Outside Sales Representative. Focused on positioning Triton as the Gulf Coast gateway to the world, Blair will offer competitive rates, outstanding customer service and strategic transportation solutions to develop new business relationships within the burgeoning oil and gas industry.

    “We’re very excited to welcome Robert Blair to Triton’s leading sales team. Robert brings with him years of sales and business development experience. His well-honed skill set will be an asset to our team,” commented William Onorato, CEO of Triton.

    Prior to joining the sales division at Triton, Blair served as a sales representative at a national construction supply company. In 2013, he earned a company-wide qualifying award for opening and developing new business accounts.

    As a member of the Triton team, Blair will concentrate on new business development in the southern United States. Specifically targeting the oil and gas industry, Blair will utilize Triton’s end-to-end service offerings to attract new sales leads.


  • 15 May 2014 12:03 PM | Anonymous

    Intradco Cargo Services and operator National Air Cargo have successfully managed a high-profile project to fly 47 horses from Dubai World Central Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC) as part of the world-famous Cavalia equestrian tour.

    The charter on a B747-428(BCF) aircraft was the inaugural flight to make use of the newly-constructed horse loading ramp at DWC, a unique facility designed to allow for the increased import and export of live animal cargo.

    Livestock and bloodstock transport specialists Intradco, recently acquired by global aircraft charter firm Chapman Freeborn, coordinated the project to fly the horses to Ostend in Belgium following their recent performances in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.


  • 14 May 2014 11:58 AM | Anonymous

    For use in Petronas’ Bintulu LNG Train 9 project

    SAL Heavy Lift has delivered a cryogenic heat exchanger for use in Petronas’ LNG Train 9 project in Bintulu, Malaysia.

    SAL Heavy Lift’s Annagret, a Type 161A vessel with 650-tonne lift capacity, carried the 257-tonne exchanger manufactured by Air Products. The cargo measured 50.7 meters long, 5.66 meters wide and 6.06 meters high, SAL said in a statement.

    “A cryogenic heat exchanger is the effective heart of an LNG plant,” Justin Archard, managing director for SAL Heavy Lift across Southeast Asia and Australasia, said. “They are incredibly valuable and tremendously sensitive pieces of technology and require very special handling.”

    The cryogenic heat exchanger was collected in Fairless Hills, Penn. in the U.S. for transport to Bintulu.

    The LNG Train 9 project will add 3.6 million tonnes per annum to the Bintulu complex’s existing 24 mtpa capacity.

    JGC with its Malaysian subsidiary JGC (Malaysia) was in 2013 awarded the US$2 billion engineering, procurement and construction contract. LNG Train 9 is scheduled to begin production by the end of 2015.


  • 14 May 2014 11:13 AM | Anonymous

    It is our pleasure to announce A PLUS LOGISTICS LIMITED's arrival from HONG KONG to Overseas Project Cargo association. Welcome on board !


    ADDRESS : Unit 17, 11/Fl., Block F, East Sun Industrial Center, 16 Shing Yip Street, Kwun Tong, Kowloon
    CONTACT : Mr. Kenneth Yip- General Manager
    TEL : 00 852-23899800
    FAX : 00 852-23895379

  • 14 May 2014 11:03 AM | Anonymous

    One of two 53-tonne slag posts bound for Lackenby steel mill.
    Two 53-tonne slag pots shipped on Hoegh ro-ro vessel

    Denholm Global Logistics  and BNSF Logistics cooperated for a significant steel mill transport.

    BNSF shipped the steel mill pieces from Shanghai on a Hoegh ro-ro vessel. The cargo was loaded on 100-ton mafis and then rolled on the vessel for transport to Newcastle in the UK, Worldwide Project Consortium said on behalf of its members, U.K.-based Denholm and U.S.-based BNSF.

    The cargo consisted of two slag pots, each measuring 6.25 meters long, 4.83 meters wide and 3.51 meters high with weights of 53 tonnes.

    BNSF was responsible for controlling the delivery through to Lackenby near Middlesbrough.

    DGL was contracted by BNSF to arrange customs clearance, mobile crane hire at the port and delivery to a steel mill in Lackenby, a distance of about 45 miles.


  • 13 May 2014 10:06 AM | Anonymous

    Our group is growing with strong steps and it's our pleasure to introduce new participants every day. LE GIA TRAVEL & LOGISTICS SVC CO., LTD. recently has joined OPCA from VIETNAM.

    Let's flourish business together!


    ADRESS: LOTUS BUILDING, Ground floor, 16 Cuu Long St, W.2, Tan Binh Dist., Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
    CONTACT: Thanh Vu Le- General Director
    TEL: 00 84 - 8 - 62968653
    FAX: 00 84 - 8 - 62968652
    WEB: Registered & Protected Protection Status