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ANALYSIS | ON THE OCEAN: PART TWO


“Of the past 25 years in the shipping industry, the last ten years will live long in the memory.”


Kyriacos Panayides, AAL


get lesser results, which is fatiguing on every front. Ultimately, for the people that remain, this results in a lack of enthusiasm in many cases. Also, it’s difficult to attract trained people and retain them in this environment.” Furthermore, the upper end of the


heavy lift shipping sector finds itself overtonnaged. A lack of cargo has been compounded by rising competition from semi-submersible lines and module carriers, which too are scratching around for cargoes. For the last few years heavy lift vessels, capable of lifting in excess of 1,000-tonnes-plus, have moved down the market looking for available loads, or forged a path in the equally distressed offshore sector. Ultimately, the multipurpose sector finds itself caught between a rock and a hard place. Te combination of a diminished cargo base, over-exuberant newbuilding and rising competition has not just bloodied the multipurpose sector’s nose – it has left long-lasting damage. Current investment into the sector is marginal at best.


Turning point Whilst the picture painted of the past decade seems overwhelmingly negative, there are reasons to be optimistic and indications suggest that the worst of the crisis is behind the multipurpose shipping sector. “I think we are on the up, just not as


quickly as the industry needs it,” said Loesing. Te German banks “are now at the point where they want to draw the line”. He said the move would be welcomed by the industry and “the business will go back into the hands of professional people.” However, he added: “We will not see the markets like we had in 2005/2006/2007.” Loesing believes that the increasing cost of MPV tonnage, at present, is a positive factor. “When the market is going down and you can get tonnage


cheaper, you compensate for the falling freight rate with the cheaper hardware. Now the tonnage is getting more expensive. It’s even tougher now because there is still not enough cargo but securing the tonnage, either on short or long-term charter or outright purchase, is getting more expensive. I think that will result in an upswing of the freight rates.” Grikitis paints a solemn picture for


the future: “Tis sector will never come into balance again in my opinion, certainly not based on project and heavy lift cargo. I think the chance of getting along will be on homogeneous cargo, on which the sector in fact grew healthy in the boom years. “We rely on homogeneous cargoes and in our trade lanes we also have containers that we move on a regular basis. It forms a regular part of our services. It is inevitable that anything that can go in a container will do so. Bulk carriers, when they are doing poorly, will do anything to get any additional cargo. But the flip side is also the case. We are also capable of making a living with homogeneous and containerised cargo. “Over time there is no doubt that as


the world continues to develop and mature, and port expansion is in place with facilities to handle larger and a greater variety of ships, I would say that there will be a diminishing base cargo.” Grikitis believes that just 50-60 percent of the current multipurpose fleet will be required by 2022/23 to serve the needs of the shipper. Tere is almost universal agreement that the lessons learnt over the past decade should not be forgotten. “Of the past 25 years in the shipping


industry, the last ten years will live long in the memory. What we have experienced will be included in future shipping seminars for the next generations,” said Panayides.


“It is bouncing back in most


sectors this year [2017] so there is a general recovery in bulk carriers and conventional ships, which will impact heavy lift carriers from 2018 onwards.”


H G Jung, Esprit Korea


“We expect the coming years to be as challenging, but we have good hope more investment decisions will be made in the medium term.”


Johan Boer, BigLift Shipping


“A decade of crisis, recovery, lasting restructuring, renewed crisis and continued


reorganisation, emerging a changed but healthy industry.”


Trond Sjursen, Höegh Autoliners


HLPFI10 | 61


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