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REVIEW | ON THE OCEAN: PART ONE


shipping company Flinter went the same way, and another Dutch operator, Abis, followed suit. Back in the first edition of HLPFI, we reported on Hamburg-based breakbulk, heavy lift and project cargo specialist Rickmers-Linie placing orders for ten new multipurpose vessels, to be delivered between 2009 and 2011. Ten years later, the well-known Rickmers-Linie brand has also faced stormy waters. Struggling in the wake of a weak multipurpose market, low


freight rates and the declining oil business, the Rickmers Group – which was established in 1834 and is one of the most recognisable names in the shipping business – filed for insolvency in June of 2017.


Relative newcomer Te group’s heavy lift shipping business had been saved earlier in 2017 when Bremen-based Zeaborn Group – a relative newcomer in the project cargo market, established in 2013 by ex-BBC Chartering executive Ove Meyer and financial specialist Jan-Hendrik Többe – took over the business operations of Rickmers-Linie. As part of the deal, Zeaborn also assumed control of MCC Marine Consulting & Contracting as well as the project and chartering arm of Nordana (NPC Projects) which was itself acquired by Rickmers-Linie in June 2016. Rickmers-Linie has subsequently been rebranded as Rickmers-Line. Back in 2014, the Maersk-Rickmers U.S. Flag Project


Carrier joint venture, established in 2011 to provide project cargo shipping services using two newly-built multipurpose ships operating under the US flag, was discontinued. Another carrier – Intermarine – announced in 2012 that it was merging its operations with Scan-Trans. At the time, then ceo of Scan-Trans, Lars Juhl, commented: “Consolidation is the key to success in our line of business, and Scan-Trans has been looking for the ideal partner for some time.”


In a reflection of the anecdotal nature of the industry, we


also reported in 2010 on rumours that Beluga Shipping was preparing to make a bid for Intermarine, but such speculation came to nothing. At the time of those rumours, Andre Grikitis, president and


ceo of Intermarine (pictured left), said: “Tere has never been such a disproportionate gap between high and low rates given in any market on a sustained basis as we see today. Te chaotic nature of the current freight market is exacerbated by new entrants with scant experience and by others inadequately staffed to meet the complexities of our changing industry.” With the largest fleet (by number) of


multipurpose project carriers, BBC Chartering celebrated its 20th anniversary last year and has navigated a relatively stable passage through the decade’s troubled waters.


2017 saw BBC extend its hand to Jumbo Maritime, as the two companies agreed to an exclusive strategic cooperation – the Global Project


Alliance – which will see both lines bid jointly on specific projects. At the time, BBC’s ceo Svend Andersen said: “Jumbo and BBC Chartering make a great match... We realise that the world of project shipping is changing rapidly, and that our organisations need to focus on building strategic assets that will enable them to create value in the future.” Back in 2009, Asia Project Chartering – a joint venture set


up by BBC and Clipper Projects in 2004 to provide commercial management of the two companies’ ships while operating in and out of Asia, Australasia and the Middle East – was dissolved. While BBC has held a steady course, the journey of one of


its competitors was not so straightforward. In 2012, Clipper Projects created a new multipurpose pool along with founding members Enzian Ship Management and Freese Shipping,


HLPFI10 | 23


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