At this week's Breakbulk Europe event, during a discussion session on ocean-going issues, participants heard that companies on all sides of the supply chain still face many challenges.
At the panel, which was moderated by Roger Strevens, global head of sustainability at Wallenius Wilhelmsen, Peter Sandberg, who heads SAL Heavy Lift Finland foresees a lot of cargo being placed on the spot market, meaning that rates will remain under pressure.
Ove Meyer, managing partner of Zeaborn, which revealed plans for a joint venture with Intermarine at Breakbulk Europe, assumes that there will be further market shakeout.
Whilst this could be done via further mergers and acquisitions, he ruled out the opportunity to increase fleet size via this route and said that Zeaborn would more likely purchase distressed assets to supplement its fleet to the levels that it has previously said it wishes to achieve.
Meyer said: "It is no big secret that 80 percent of the worldwide (multipurpose) shipping fleet is under distress or in financial troubled waters. There will be further acquisitions and there is a huge need for consolidation.”
Kyriakos Panayides, managing director of AAL, pointed to the ongoing need for flexibility in the current market environment in regards to both equipment and trading areas, but criticised some lines that “are price-driven, opportunistic and show little loyalty.”
A sentiment shared by Meyer who said that he has a problem with some competitors over their pricing strategy which appears to have little consideration for bottom line results.