The container shipping market is still facing some uncertainties ahead, however the worry is coming more from the demand side rather than the supply side, according to Torben Kölln, managing director of Hamburg-based handysize containership operator Leonhardt & Blumberg.
In an interview during Marine Money’s Shanghai Event yesterday, Kölln admitted that the current consolidation in the container shipping market has affected the company’s business, however, he believed there is a lot of sense behind the consolidation.
“It not only affects the shipowners, but also the shipmanagers and suppliers in the procurement chain,” Kölln said, adding that more consolidation is needed in the sector.
Kölln has seen lots of German owners have started to adapt to new market situations and turned to Chinese financiers rather than domestic banks.
“I’m not really worried about the supply side, the container shipping industry is still a relatively young industry, the new orderings these days will be likely to replace the old tonnages on the market,” Kölln said.
“My concern is the from the demand side. I think the Chinese economy has more issues than it had a few years ago, which could add uncertainties to the market,” he added.
Leonhardt & Blumberg is one of the largest independent charter owner of handysize containerships, operating a fleet of containerships ranging from about 1,000 teu to 3,600 teu.
Last year, Leonhardt & Blumberg combined its shipmanagement activities with Buss Shipping, forming a new venture operating a combined 55 ships.