Singapore: Canada’s largest dry bulk player, Fednav, is looking to build its presence in Asia and specifically boosting its log carrying capabilities.
Fednav opened an office in Singapore in April last year, which complemented the company’s regional presence in Tokyo and Brisbane. However, the Singapore office is unique among Fednav’s overseas offices as its local managing director Carl Lee explained to SeaShip News.
“We saw … an opportunity to generate some separate activity in the Far East, independent of Fednav’s mainstream shipping operations that are controlled by our head office in Montreal,” he said, adding: “Fednav Singapore is the only overseas office to have such a mandate and we are working closely with our colleagues in Australia and Japan to develop Asian-specific business.”
Traditionally Fednav’s focus has been on the Atlantic markets. Although the company has been in existence for 68 years, it was the opening of the St Lawrence Seaway and the emergence of the niche market of the Great Lakes that launched Fednav on a growth pattern that would eventually make it Canada’s largest dry cargo shipowning and chartering group.
“However,” admits Lee, “the pendulum has definitely swung eastwards, a result of both a shift in global trade patterns and of the company’s diversification from its main niche of the Great Lakes into larger sized ships and different markets. The Asian market is becoming increasingly important to the group and we are determined to replicate the success that we have in the Atlantic as being the industrial carrier of choice here in the East.”
Fednav has around 70 ships in its ships, both owned and long-term chartered.
Fednav has taken delivery of 11 new vessels this year and currently has 12 ice-class ships on order to deliver in 2013-2016, including one ice-breaking bulk carrier and six Lakes-suitable vessels.
Fednav also operates a fleet of six logs-fitted bulk carriers from its Singapore office.
“We are keen to develop niche markets; that has always been our strength,” Lee said.
This sees Fednav have the largest ice class bulker fleet in the world. In Asia, the pursuit of supramaxes and handies for the logs trade is a niche it wants to pursue.
“Currently we are dipping our toes into the niche logger market which we think has good potential going forward,” Lee concluded. [07/12/12]