Marina di Carrara: Enrico Bogazzi, a well known name in bulk shipping despite being a very low profile man, can see no way out for bulk carriers’ crisis and has decided to progressively offload all his fleet.
The Italian shipowner based in Marina di Carrara today still controls several companies such as Navalmar UK and BSLE, but in the past his name was linked also to Bnavi, Vittorio Bogazzi & Figli, Nordana, Brointermed, MC Shipping and Dannebrog Rederi with a fleet of some 50 general cargo, tankers, gas carriers and roro ships.
In the last few years Bogazzi sold his stake in most of the cited companies and now owns only four multipurpose ships (operated trough BSLE shipping company) and two handymax bulk carriers (controlled by the London-based Navalmar UK).
Widely known as ‘Il Dottore’ in Italy, he has a negative outlook for the future of shipping, mainly in the dry bulk sector.
“I decided to exit the tanker market in 2012 but looking back at the rates of the recent past I took the wrong decision,” he admits, while on the dry bulk side he thinks that “many years” are needed before any sort of recovery will take place.
“The industry,” he says, “is affected at the same time by tonnage oversupply and a global trade slowdown, furthermore the commodity price has dropped and also the oil price decrease has not helped business.”
Above all that, bulk carriers are more and more in direct competition with container ships in his view.
“These ever bigger container carriers are progressively stealing market share in minor and major bulk commodities and that’s true not only for small units but also for medium-size bulk carriers. If you think that steel coils from China to Europe today are more and more frequently shipped in a container,” he points out.
That’s the reason why the Italian owner is very busy at offloading ships today.
“How could I invest in buying vessels given the present market condition?” Bogazzi observes. “In any segment, from capesize, to panamax or supramax all the ships are losing money. At today’s rates in dry bulk you can neither repay operating and financial costs.”
Also the old project of a potential listing of his shipping activities has been cancelled by the Carrara-based owner: “That would be a nonsense today. The private equity funds that decided to buy non performing loans of distressed shipping companies are losing money. Before them, the banks were used to finance shipowners’ investments with up to 90% of asset price and currently the same assets have dropped their value to 10%. Bulk carriers are being sold at scrap price and then that’s not exactly the right moment to look at the financial investors I think,” he concludes.