Leer: Keep an eye out for Germany’s EMS-Fehn-Group, a diversified maritime conglomerate that has big plans to grow. The 1984-founded company has a fleet of 25 ships at present ranging in size from 1,400 dwt to 9,800 dwt, made up mainly of general cargo ships.
“We intend to build up a fleet of 40 or so vessels over the next years,” says managing director Ingo Hesse. “In the last few months we have repositioned EMS-Fehn-Group in a way that enables us to respond to market requisitions even more swiftly and flexibly. If the economy gathers speed, we are there.”
The group is far more than just a shipowner, involved in shipmanagement, crew management, chartering, logistics and even port operations. Its business empire spans Germany, Latvia, Italy, Albania and Macedonia.
EMS tries to keep three things always in mind when handling the tough financial times of the past few years in shipping. “Don’t trust the mainstream, listen to your clients, don’t get content. That helps,” says Hesse.
He does see “some small and promising signs” to suggest that the worst of the downturn may be over.
Nevertheless, the severe imbalance between transport capacity and too few cargoes continues to plague the sector, he admits, a problem that even slow steaming en masse will not resolve.
"If all participants could gather up in a joint action to lay up temporarily just a fraction of their fleet rates would recover in no time,” Hesse says wishfully. [17/07/13]