Mercator fails to pay its crew for the last two months

Mercator fails to pay its crew for the last two months

Mercator, once India’s third largest shipping line, has hit severe financial difficulties with local newspaper, Hindu Business Line, reporting the company has not paid its 350 crew for the past two months.

The Mumbai owner – led by HK Mittal – has enormous debts and has been racking up sizeable losses in recent years. Today, it is involved in tankers and dredging, having seen its Singapore dry bulk operations liquidated a few years ago.

A spokesperson for the company told the Hindu Business Line that Mercator will sell some of its fleet. “We will only keep ships which are cash-positive,” the spokesperson said.

Mercator today has just three tankers made up of an aframax and two handy tankers as well as five dredgers. It sold one tanker to Greek interests at the end of last month for $27.5m.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.

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