A client recently said to me that one of his trusty shipowners seems to be in a bad mood recently and wondered if he (the charterer) may have done something to upset the gentleman.
Possibly.....was my reply. Shipping people are historically a grumpy bunch. long hours, stressful negotiations, deals falling over at the last moment, brokers not returning phone calls - maketh for a grumpieth shipowner.
Having said that I said a far more likely reason for a less than happy shipowner is simple - the CRAP state of the markets. Rates are so low just about every deal is a loser...which isn't good for most.
I'm not saying that no shipowners are happy - I am just pointing out that in historically low markets it would seem logical that the losers are the shipowners! Just like in historically high markets charterers would seem to be the losers..........Losers in this game we call dry bulk shipping.
But alas things in shipping are never that cut and dry. Shipowners with high costs and high debt and large new building order books have every right to be stressed. Their are shipowners however who have managed assets in a better way and infact now have huge competitive advantages with low costs, low debt and low new building exposure. The truth for the majority is probably somewhere in between...
One thing for sure is that the longer the markets stay in the doldrums - the less likely you will hear a cheery shipowner voice on the other side of the phone.
Good time to to be a commodity exporter or importer. As a percentage of the overall landed price of most bulk commodities - freight now plays less of a role (in percentage terms). There was a time not too long ago that the freight price for many commodities exceeded the commodity price (in certain markets)
So I reckon we should have the inaugural "be kind to a shipowner week" starting this Monday....
Maybe take your local shipowner pout for a boozy lunch or a game of golf. Sounds like a good excuse to celebrate 2013 to me...
the Virtual Shipbroker
- The Virtual Shipbroker
- Hi. I am a shipping company director, transport academic, author, family man and all round nice guy. I have worked as shipbroker, shipowner, freight trader and bulk charterer, in senior positions, with some of the largest and most disrespected (joke) companies in the world. Ask my advice on all things shipping and you will receive my blunt and always honest answer. Hang around to learn more about chartering and ship broker salaries, chartering and ship broker jobs, chartering and shipbroker recruitment agencies, cheap freight, maritime education, chartering and ship broker qualifications, become a ship broker, tips on how to be a successful bulk shipping executive, philosophy, Zen and the art of shipbroking, and much more. Yours The Virtual Shipbroker (recently proclaimed the guru of shipbroking) Copyright © 2009-17 by Virtualshipbroker