Shipowners are like ‘unsupervised children’

Shipowners are like ‘unsupervised children’

Shipowners are like “unsupervised children” who do not understand basic economics, a leading shipowner claimed to much mirth at today’s Asian Logistics and Maritime Conference in Hong Kong.

Khalid Hashim, managing director of Bangkok-based Precious Shipping, blasted owners for always being like children in a candy store, ordering ships and killing markets and then not taking enough redemptive measures to fix market problems.

Riffing off a famous Richard Branson quote about the aviation business, Hashim quipped: “For dry bulk to end up with a small fortune you need to start off with a very large one.”

Speaking on the same dry bulk panel, Jack Hsu, managing director of Hong Kong’s Oak Maritime, said that there was little chance of significant consolidation in the dry bulk business as owners of these vessels are typically very self-centred and in pursuit of profit for themselves.

“The business of dry is not conducive [to consolidation] because it is tramping.” Hsu said, explaining that there is not the need to have economies of scale like in the liner sector.

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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