Oslo: A famous name in tankers is gearing up to expand to take advantage of a perceived coming rebound in freight rates.
Herbjørn Hansson, chairman and ceo of Bermuda registered Nordic American Tankers (NAT), tells Maritime CEO: “We have a view that this market will recover. Therefore we are looking to expand the fleet in a responsible manner.”
Hansson explains the rationale for expansion. “It is,” he says, “all about risk management and total return – these are the two most important concepts to relate to.”
Hansson reckons the tanker market is bottoming out right now, with the global fleet set to stop growing, possibly even shrink a little while changing trading patterns should see “healthy” ton-mile gains in the coming years.
NAT’s fleet currently stands at 20 suezmaxes with no ships on order, a tally that is likely to change soon.
Newbuild prices appear to have bottomed out, Hansson maintains. “Currency factors have altered the competitive landscape a little,” he notes, while the bundle of orders placed this year have given the yards “more confidence”.
Like most shipping lines Hansson is keen to up NAT’s exposure in Asia. “It is clear that as domestic US production expands,” he says, “our focus is shifting east and we are proactive in building these relationships.”
As to where and how NAT will go about building up its business Hansson is keeping his cards close to his chest.
“Generally it is my belief that if you have a good idea, you shouldn’t talk about it,” he concludes. [12/07/13]
NEED TO KNOW: Nordic American Tankers
Founded in 1995 Nordic American Tankers (NAT) is listed in New York. Current fleet is made up of 20 suezmaxes all trading on the spot market with no ships on order. NAT has made clear it intends to expand its fleet soon.