February 10 - London-based Drewry Maritime Research published a new report on car carriers, analysing a sector that has suffered less during the recession than most other sectors, thanks to a contribution from high and heavy wheeled traffic.

One area of growth includes the high and heavy sector, which Drewry believes will benefit from the inexorable expansion of the mining and agriculture sectors.

The sector has emerged from the global recession with what looks like limited damage compared with the head-on collision others experienced. Drewry believes that this sector, with its small orderbook, is better positioned than most others in the shipping industry, who suffer from large newbuilding orderbooks, to weather a double-dip recession.

Drewry's report says that the downturn hurt car-carrying vessels, with capacity utilisation falling significantly. However, operators are now less likely to charter tonnage for long periods, instead placing an emphasis on full employment of owned tonnage. With limited numbers of newbuild vessels coming into service, increased demand is easier to meet and an excess of new capacity is not going to blight operators, if the economy retrenches, it adds.