Maritime CEO

BBC Chartering: Breakbulk consolidation on the cards


Leer: One of the world’s largest project shipping firms talks to Maritime CEO today on where the sector is headed. BBC Chartering’s ceo Svend Andersen told this site in our regular Friday shipowner profile slot: “We see good chances to further grow our business significantly. Our simple yet focused business model attracts both shipowners and shippers.”

Andersen said he was keen to become a real force in the massively fragmented projects sector. 

“Our segment is about to consolidate,” he predicted, “and we see ourselves as an attractive entity that is open to discuss strategic partnerships that follow the same goal as we do: to improve market access to a global multipurpose/heavylift fleet. With that our vision is to create a more efficient industry structure in our still highly fragmented business segment.”

Established in 1997 in Germany, the company shifted headquarters from Bremen to Leer two years later. Today it lays claim to operating the largest multipurpose and heavylift fleet in the world.

As commercial managers in 2012 BBC Chartering operated an average of 133 ships equating to 1.6m dwt, and at peak times more than 150 vessels ranging from 3,500dwt to 37,300dwt. 

The line is in the midst of a significant rejuvenation of its fleet focusing on two heavylift newbuild programs. One series is the BBC Everst type; eight 9,300dwt vessels each with two 350 metric ton cranes, and the second is the BBC Amber type; fourteen 14,360dwt ships with two 400mt plus one 80mt lifting gear. Seven of the BBC Everst type and eight of the BBC Amber type have commenced service so far with the remainder due for delivery this year.

Andersen, a 40-year breakbulk veteran, reckoned the niche sector had already hit rock bottom and was now seeing “promising developments”.

“We can look confidently into the future again as demand development for shipping capacity and supply of tonnage slowly comes back to a more balanced ratio,” the shipping boss predicted. 

Shipping as a whole had been misled, Andersen said, on a perceived capacity shortage years ago.

“The shipping industry and banks are still digesting this expensive lesson,” Andersen noted.

BBC Chartering’s network is global. However, some of its strongest sales growth has been in Asia in recent years, a region where the line now has offices in Singapore, Shanghai, Tokyo, Seoul and Mumbai. 

“We expect the market to continue to be very competitive, especially in Asia. The market there focuses on prices rather than quality,” Andersen said. “At the same time we see a lot of cargoes being re-circulated due to the fast paced changes in the Chinese market. Operators and carriers enter and leave the stage quickly and they often fail to perform. This is where we see our chance.”

For more on Chinese project forwarding and breakbulk check out our special feature in the forthcoming issue of our sister publication, SinoShip magazine, which will be at the UBM-organised Breakbulk China show in Shanghai. Contact Grant Rowles on for details. [08/02/13]


NEED TO KNOW:  BBC Chartering  

Founded 16 years ago, the German line is now the largest operator of multipurpose and heavylift ships in the world. Undergoing a significant fleet rejuvenation with seven new ships set to join the fleet this year.  


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