Wednesday, October 7, 2009

New Container Shipping Company Rumours Abound As Freight Cargo Slumps

TUI Billionaire Shareholder May Possibly Join New Danish Carrier
Shipping News Feature

DENMARK – Rumours abound that John Fredriksen, the Norwegian tanker billionaire, might join the board of The Container Company (TCC) a new player in a difficult market. TCC are based in Copenhagen and were set up by two Danes with a long history in container shipping, Jacob Tolstrup-Møller and Franck Kayser, who together have about 50 years in the business with such groups as AP Moeller-Maersk, CMA CGM and Boxton Maritime.

If the gossip is true it will write another chapter for the colourful Fredriksen who made the bulk of his money in oil tankers during the Iran-Iraq conflict and whose interests now include a panoply of marine investments. One of these is as a major shareholder in TUI who in turn control Hapag Lloyd who themselves have just received state aid from the German Government. Fredriksen has long feuded with TUI management and twice been refused seats on its supervisory board whilst trying to oust the chairman.

TCC apparently plan to snap up spare capacity in the container market, with vast quantities of vessels currently lying idle, which it believes it can sell on at discount prices in the manner of the budget airlines. The company says it plans to start operations in 2010 and is known to have approached several other major industry figures in a bid to raise the necessary funds.