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REVIEW | 2013-2014


2013-2014: HARSH REALITIES


In the aftermath of the demise of Beluga Shipping, consolidation continued to dominate the industry, while the sudden drop in oil prices at the end of 2014 put paid to any hopes for recovery.


F


ollowing on from industry-changing events in 2011 and 2012, shipping developments aplenty continued into


2013, as the industry felt the full force of the lingering economic crash. Plans for container shipping alliances


dominated headlines in 2013, while there was ongoing debate about ballast water and ship emissions, as well as piracy on the high seas continuing to threaten the world’s trade lanes at a time when an ever-increasing size and weight of shipments was noted in many quarters. In a year that many analysts believed to be the “crunch” for an “industry battered by


rising costs and rate squeezes against a backdrop of overcapacity”, the sector was delivered yet another blow in 2014 as oil prices dropped by more than 40 percent during the second half of the year. In 2013, HLPFI saw Royal Boskalis


Westminster complete its acquisition of semi-submersible heavy transport line Dockwise – which itself had swallowed up Fairstar just one year previously. Boskalis reached an agreement in 2014 to acquire Fairmount Marine and Fairmount Ocean Towage Company from the French group Louis Dreyfus Armateurs. Dockwise hit the ground running in 2014 by securing a


USD275 million contract from construction giant Bechtel to supply module transport services for the Chevron-operated Wheatstone project in Western Australia.


Mergers The second quarter of 2013 also bore witness to the birth of BigRoll – a joint venture between BigLift Shipping and RollDock Shipping; while we saw the retirement of the ConDock brand following its merger with Combi Lift; and Safmarine ended speculation about its future by announcing that Safmarine MPV would be a standalone company within the AP Møller-Maersk group. Meanwhile, STX Pan Ocean fell into


receivership and signed an agreement for its acquisition by a consortium comprising Harim Group and JKL at the end of 2014. Another big merger in the heavy lift shipping sector saw the coming together of Clipper Projects and Thorco in 2013. Overcapacity was already plaguing the


multipurpose market, and few owners anticipated delivery of new tonnage after 2014. In July 2013, Drewry's presentation on the MPV fleet revealed that despite the price of newbuild and secondhand ships falling to levels not seen since 2002/2003, the orderbook stood at less than 10 percent of the total fleet. However, newbuild activity


March 2013: Xi Jinping assumes office as president of China July 2013: Egyptian coup d'état 52 | HLPFI10


December 2013: Death of Nelson Mandela


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