Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Container Vessels And Freight Aircraft For Sale As Recession Hits Shipping

Bargains to be had by Shrewd Investors
Shipping News Feature

WORLDWIDE – Despite the fact that companies like Maersk Line tell us that they have container ships coming out of mothballs as the call for empty boxes comes from Asia to service increasing levels of export cargo, there is often a darker side to such tales to remind us of the parlous state which world trade sank to so recently. We now understand that at least one of the ‘container repositions’ being undertaken will terminate with the scrapping of the carrying vessel, the ‘Sealand Performance’ which, after ferrying the empty boxes between the US and China for redistribution, will remain there to be broken up.

There are many other ship owners who still have spare capacity with freight vessels still idle after long periods anchored up in locations as diverse as Indonesian inlets and Scottish lochs and, never ones to report bad news, doubtless many owners will quietly follow the same course as Maersk with the ‘Performance’ and realise what is left of their older assets. As we have reported numerous times many new build vessels have been cancelled despite sizeable deposits which were then forfeited but lately several companies have invested in the excess stock with a view to increasing their fleets with a minimum outlay.

It seems the situation can be just as hard in the airfreight market and now we hear of freight aircraft available for sale, hire or ‘wet lease’, otherwise known as ACMI (Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance and Insurance)as life toughens up even in previously lucrative sectors. We spoke to Air Charter Agent Ray Bowyer who told us he has several Antonov AN-12 (20 ton payload) and AN-24 (5 ton payload) freighters and PAX/freight combination aircraft available fresh from African and Middle Eastern oil contracts.

So who will be proved right? Those disposing of under utilised assets? Or has the market in bulk and container vessels and used aircraft levelled out? Only time will tell, but as usual, the trick is sell high buy low; you just have to figure when things are at the bottom of the tide.

Anyone looking to acquire aircraft should contact Ray Bowyer

Photo : Antonov AN-12