Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Brisk Business - tending to laid up ships

One area of business is busy during this downturn, ship managers and agencies who tend to laid up vessels.

As locations such as Subic Bay, the Philippines, and Singapore’s outer port limits’ anchorages rapidly fill up with empty vessels, agents and ships managers are jumping on the bandwagon to manage laid-up vessels and offer new locations.

At present there are reported to be around 30 vessels on hot lay-up in Subic Bay and space for further ships is becoming limited.

“Subic is getting quite full,” said Raul Matovic, general manager of Thome Marine Consultants, an offshoot of Thome Ship Management, which is offering lay-up services.

One consideration for lay-up is warm waters, but also in an area where charter hires will more likely commence when business picks up, which is Asia.

The Singapore-based company is looking to secure an exclusive anchorage in Batam, Indonesia on the southern side of the Singapore Strait. This, Mr Matovic said, was so it “could get easy access to the vessel”.

“So far we’ve had quite a few enquiries for big boxships and car carriers,” he said.
The company also expects to see newbuildings being delivered and going straight into lay-up.

While the warm climes of Southeast Asia are proving attractive for lay-up, Mr Matovic believes that owners are choosing to lay-up vessels in the region primarily due to connections to patterns rather than climate.

The thought of new vessels going straight to lay-up up is frightening. Especially for anyone invested in international shipping company stocks.

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