November 25 - Rickmers-Linie has confirmed media reports that it is proceeding with a restructuring programme; has seen a reduction in its fleet of chartered ships; a restructuring of its administration and operations functions; as well as a reduction in

The reports indicate that four multipurpose heavy lift ships that were deployed in Rickmers' service between Europe and the Indian sub-continent were returned to their owners on expiry of their period charters.

Rickmers confirmed that the service is now eastbound-only operated by spot charter tonnage ex-Europe. 

The multipurpose and heavy lift shipping line also confirmed that three multipurpose ships that had been chartered for the company's westbound round-the-world service have also been redelivered. 

Readers may recall that in September, in its interim report for the first half of 2014, the Rickmers Group said weak shipping markets affected all three of its divisions, including Rickmers-Linie.

Furthermore, in October, speaking in Houston at the Breakbulk Americas event, Bertram Rickmers, chairman of Rickmers Holding and the CIE KG, parent of Rickmers-Linie, warned that if rates do not improve soon some of the carriers will be out of business, adding that forwarders put themselves at risk by chasing the lowest rates and failing to do due diligence on the vessels they use.