Leghorn: Elbana di Navigazione is a small shipping company based in Piombino, Italy. It is thinking about investing in new ships for a fleet renewal supposing that Italian banks decide to come back to support the business. Fabrizio Freschi, ceo of the company, emphasises the concept telling Maritime CEO: “It’s vital for the shipping industry in Italy to witness a return of the traditional national lenders to the business”.
Elbana di Navigazione owns four modern oil-chemical tankers ageing from 2001 to 2009 and between 5,000 and 7,000 dwt size plus the flagship Letizie Effe, built in 2008 and with 20,000 dwt capacity. Another chemical tanker, Diego (6,500 dwt, built 2004), is operated by the company under a long term charter agreement with the Genoa-based shipping company Diego Calì &C. Currently all the fleet is employed on the spot market mainly in the Mediterranean or North European sea region.
Freschi has in mind a long time strategy for his company and is already considering any possible opportunity to invest in new ships. The company in the mid-term future will probably order newbuildings in Turkey or in South Korea, where they have experienced a good quality of small tanker ships. “We must look at that,” he says, “because we want to maintain a fleet of modern and highly competitive chemical and product tankers appealing for the charterers we work with, mainly international oil majors but not only.”
The ceo of Elbana thinks that “in the present scenario with funds, financial investors and bigger and bigger players, there is still space in the market for family companies operating in niche markets and able to create a modern and structured staff of skilled personnel.”
Looking at the present market trend for the business segment Elbana is involved in, Freschi says: “We are experiencing a recent upturn in freight rates but it’s just a matter of supply and demand of tonnage. Any new order of tanker ships might cause a drop in rates and revenues, that’s why before ordering new tonnage we will wait to see some structural signs of an upswing cycle. At this time that’s not the case.”