FEBRUARY 10, 2015 — With the Baltic Dry Index probing new lows, five major bulker operators have formed a new joint venture company, Capesize Chartering Ltd.
The five are: Bocimar International NV, CTM (C Transport Holding Ltd), Golden Union Shipping Co S.A., Golden Ocean Group Limited and Star Bulk Carriers.
The parties say they operate in the highly competitive and fragmented Capesize industry, and that none of them owns, controls or manages sufficient Capesize vessels to provide competitively priced bids and efficient trading and operations to serve its customers.
The new company will combine and coordinate the chartering services of all the parties.
For customers this is said to represent the benefit of a wider geographic area in which vessels can be made available and with shorter spread between loading dates.
For the shipowners the major benefit is achieving a reduction in costs, since the best positioned vessel can be offered for a fixture of a cargo. This will reduce ballast voyages and associated running costs, notably in respect of bunkers.
The parties say that a reduction of waiting time and time spent in positioning the vessels will benefit the industry as a whole, in the form of reduction of ballast bonuses and demurrage payable by charterers/cargo owners, and a reduction of deviation, waiting time and idle time for the account of the shipowners.
They say the new company will offer the market a combined Capesize fleet with more flexibility and options, that will benefit both the shipowners and the charterers/cargo owners.
"Our business vision and model," they say, "will be to offer to the market, irrespective of ownership, the best suitable vessel taking into account the respective vessels' characteristics, position and availability.'
Stabilizing and improving net voyage returns to owners of Capesize vessels at sustainable levels will, they say "enhance the participating shipowners ability to continue to maintain our vessels to the highest standards demanded by the industry, which also will improve our ability to offer to our customers high quality at competitive costs."
Capesize Chartering Ltd will commence operations in the second half of February 2015 from the existing offices of each of the five parties involved.