Doing what it takes to stay afloat

Much has happened in the multipurpose shipping industry in light of the ongoing difficulties affecting the sector. -  News Desk - News Desk
Wednesday 26 October 2016

First Rickmers Group sold its shares in Rickmers Trust Management - the trustee manager of Rickmers Maritime, the troubled Singapore-listed container shipping entity. Then Grieg Star and Gearkbulk confirmed that they intend to enter a joint venture to pool the companies' resources and expertise, as well as their combined fleet of open-hatch and conventional bulk vessels.

Then Flinter confirmed that ING Bank will no longer provide financing for nine of its vessels, leaving the line with no other option than to file for suspension of payments.

HLPFI understands that Flinter controls a fleet of over 30 ships, with many of its vessels financed by other banks. With ING Bank cutting the cord, however, Flinter suggested that the financing of its remaining ships has been put in jeopardy, leaving the company facing an uncertain future.

In an emotional statement on its website, Flinter suggested that the downturn in the shipping industry has continued now for nine years and its prospects are "not yet positive".

It is of course no secret that the multipurpose shipping sector is struggling in light of record low market conditions and a number of banks are trying to cut their ties with the industry, and many industry executives have predicted that we will see further bankruptcies over the next 12 months.

This week's events are a demonstration of some of the different measures now being taken to enable companies to remain afloat in these troubled times.

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