The depressed market has led Singapore-based Rickmers Maritime to consider laying up some of the 11 containerships it has operating in the spot market to save costs when the vessels are redelivered.
“So far, we have been fairly successful in keeping the Trust’s vessels employed despite the depressed market. However, over the next 12 months, we are likely to face even stronger headwinds as we are seeing acceleration in redeliveries of panamax vessels, driven by the upsizing of the Panama Canal,” Soeren Andersen, CEO of Rickmers Trust Management (RTM), said in the firm’s second quarter and first half results for 2016. RTM is the trustee-manager of Rickmers Maritime.
“The shipping market is volatile, and we have to strike a balance between minimising costs through this extremely adverse time by decommissioning vessels, and at the same time keeping some vessels active in the spot market for the flexibility to capitalise on any uptick in the market,” Andersen continued.
The company has a fleet of 16 containerships of between 3,450 teu to 5,060 teu. The fleet is 72% employed for 2016 and saw utilisation of 91.4% during the second quarter.
RTM said its existing charter agreements will account for $111.5m of secured revenue between June 30 this year and expiry of the last charter contract in 2019. Charterers include CMA CGM, Maersk Line, Mitsui OSK Lines and Mediterranean Shipping Company.