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Ebe: The new dry bulk cycle

This year’s first issue of Maritime CEO magazine launches today with many hot button issues spread across its 50 pages. Whether it’s the industry’s attitude to tech change, LNG as a ship fuel or it’s poor numbers when it comes to gender pay equality Maritime CEO is not afraid to tackle many of the sector’s most contentious issues. Profiles of shipowners in this edition are led by Basile Aloy, the head of new Belgian dry bulk owner, Ebe and are followed up by a diverse set of executives from across the globe.

Aloy is the latest generation of the famous Belgian Saverys family to enter shipowning.

Aloy formed Ebe in 2016, after his mother sold her 16% share in Compagnie Maritime Belge (CMB) to his uncle Marc Saverys. He has since set about building a fleet of high quality Japanese bulker tonnage, which today comprises a capesize, one kamsarmax and two ultramaxes. Ebe also has two 62,000 dwt ships on order at one of Japan’s finest bulker builders, Oshima Shipbuilding, for delivery in the second half of 2019.

While his family still owns Avignonesi, the well-regarded Tuscan vineyard, and is still very much involved in the day to day running of the company, for Aloy work is now totally focused on developing Ebe.

“To be honest,” he tells Maritime CEO, “I don’t regret leaving wine. It was a wonderful experience but shipping is very much what I enjoy to do.”

To get a knowledge of shipping, Aloy worked for a while with Swiss brokers Ifchor before setting up Ebe in Antwerp two years ago. Throughout 2016 and 2017 he scoured the markets, picking up well-priced Japanese tonnage, and now he feels the dry bulk sector is set fair for a couple of years.

“We are very positive for 2018 and 2019, anything further is reading tealeaves,” he says, adding: “We believe the market is poised for an increase this year and we’ve prepared ourselves to take advantage of this upturn.”

Ebe is however by Aloy’s own admission very conservative, something likely honed from being part of a family who have known shipping peaks and troughs for more than a century.

“Ebe has no leverage as we felt that in such a high-risk industry it is best to prepare yourself for the worst while hoping for the best,” Aloy explains. “Therefore if the market goes up, excellent. If not, we can hold out a very long time.”

Splash readers can access the full interview and the entire magazine online for free by clicking here.


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