Maritime CEO Forum: Sentimentality gets in the way of the blowtorch

If owners can be rational for once then they can enjoy some good times in the coming couple of years. That was the message from one of the world’s most high profile shipping analysts on Tuesday in Singapore. Peter Sand, chief shipping analyst at global shipowning organisation BIMCO, opened this week’s Maritime CEO Forum with an exclusive half hour question and answer session on the markets moderated by Splash editor Sam Chambers.

Sand, one of the most vocal backers of greater scrapping volumes in recent years, hit out at shipowners’ sentimentality, which often holds them back from making cold, business decisions.

“Owners are often too attached to their vessels. I mean it’s hard to send a vessel with your mother’s name on it to the scrapyard,” he quipped.

Sand predicted that containers were set to enjoy the best market prospects this year, closely followed by dry bulk. Tankers, he predicted, would remain troubled for this year and next.

When quizzed which vessel type was best to buy now with a view to an asset play, Sand went left field, picking out the much maligned classic panamax boxship, a ship type that has been hit hard by the opening of the expanded Panama Canal resulting in dropping values and many sent for scrap. Sand’s panamax pick looks to be well supported by recent charter developments where the volume of fixtures for this niche has picked up dramatically in recent weeks with 5,000 teu boxships recently being fixed for as high as $12,000 a day.

Sand talked about the mood at last week’s Trans-Pacific Maritime (TPM) container shipping event in Long Beach, California where he was also speaking. He revealed how containerlines attending TPM had openly spoken of their growing worries about the likely rise of protectionism.

Tomorrow, in the final report from the Maritime CEO Forum, Splash will cover what was said during our very feisty digital session.


Maritime CEO Forum was sponsored by Cobham, Compas, Dualog, DVB Bank, Liberian Registry, Marlink, OSM Group, ShipServ, Veritas Petroleum Services and Wartsila.

Grant Rowles

Grant spent nine years at Informa Group based in London, Sydney, Hong Kong and Singapore. He gained strong management experience in publishing, conferences and awards schemes in the shipping and legal areas, working on a number of titles including Lloyd's List. In 2009 Grant joined Seatrade responsible for the commercial development of Seatrade’s Asia products. In 2012, with Sam Chambers, he co-founded Asia Shipping Media.
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