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Dry Bulk Fleet's Main Niche Sector Faces Increased Competition

A spate of Handy/Handymax size newbuildings — especially part open, flexible and multi-purpose bulk carriers — is set to increase the level of competition in the neobulk and unitized sectors of the bulk shipping industry, according a new briefing report from Drewry Shipping Consultants, entitled Open Hatch And Container / Bulk Carriers: Demand, The Fleet and Competition. Nevertheless, the major established players contin to have an optimistic outlook, a take the view that they will ha the experience and expertise to s them through any near term di culties.

In part, this belief relies ont fact that, because open hatch to nage carries a sizable price preum on the newbuilding mark (perhaps $7 to $8 million befo the topic of cargo handling ge has been addressed), entry purely speculative interests deterred. In addition, these shi tend to see their natural tradi home in neo-bulk traffic areas especially forest products, steel aluminum ingots — and/or co tainers where factors such as se vice quality and reliability assur major importance. Nevertheles the market allows no room for co " placency.

At the end of 1995, the repo said that the open hatch and co tainer/bulk carrier fleet of mo than 20,000 dwt amounted to 3 ships, with an additional 49 order.

Furthermore, the first t months of 1996 have broug reports of an additional ni orders, representing 325,000 d for vessels described as open part open, including fo Handymax units on CCNI account and a 50,000-dwt examp contracted by Leif Hoegh.

The fleet contains three distin elements: fully open hatch shi fitted with shipboard traveli gantry cranes; part open hate ships fitted with convention cranes which "partly overhang" t" hatch access; and conbulker which are more conventional uniwith a fairly high TEU rating and, aerhaps, some cell guides fitted.

The first of these, where the latch area and that of the hold loor match and the hatch opening ins to 70 to 80 percent of the jeam measurement, are more sophisticated.

Ownership is in relatively few lands, with Gearbulk and Star shipping being the major forces, collectively running more than 75 js. The open hatch concept lemerged initially to meet the [demands of specialist niches withlin the forest products trades.

•These include sawnwoods, board •products, paper products, and (especially woodpulp, a trade genera t i n g more than 21 million tons Iper year of seaborne traffic global- |iy- Pappas Joins Intergraph Federal Systems Intergraph Corporation, Huntsville, Ala., announced that Jimmy Pappas, U.S. Navy Vice Admiral (Ret.), has joined Intergraph Federal Systems as an executive consultant for Federal Programs. He will be assisting the Navy in the use of Intergraph CAD-2 technology for consolidation and base closure, as well as increased facility management efficiency. Prior to joining Intergraph, Vadm. Pappas served as president and CEO of the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society. He has also commanded Naval Station Norfolk and Naval Station San Diego. Prior to retiring in 1991, Vadm. Pappas served as Director of Logistics (J- 4) on the Joint Staff, coordinating the movement of combat forces and support in Desert Shield/Desert Storm.

The first CAD-2 contract, from the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), was awarded to Intergraph in 1991 for engineering and design hardware, software, and services for applications such as shipbuilding, overhaul and repair. The most recent contract was awarded in 1994 by the Naval Air Systems Command and Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command for computer-aided systems and services for electronic and mechanical design, manufacturing and engineering in aeronautical and aerospace applications.

For more information on Intergraph Circle 9 2 on Reader Service Card Jimmy Pappas However, the square hold design has proved attractive to other neobulk parcel trades such as steel, while the layout is also conducive to working containers. Drewry reports that some operators seem to be seeking to distance themselves from the bulk carrier epithet, as the longevity of some of their ships has caused cargo insurer problems.

This, allied to "liner type" operating schedules, has encouraged some operators to consider their ships to be general cargo vessels despite the Handymax size.

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