Focus on Cash Control Impacts Ship Operating Costs

MarineLink.com
Friday, September 27, 2013

International accountant and shipping consultant Moore Stephens says total annual operating costs in the shipping industry fell by an average 1.8% in 2012. This compares with the 2.1% average rise in costs recorded for the previous year. There was a significant reduction in costs across all categories and it was clear that ship owners had been focusing on managing costs and conserving cash in 2012.

The findings are set out in OpCost 2013, Moore Stephens’ unique ship operating costs benchmarking tool, which reveals that total operating costs for the three main tonnage sectors covered – bulkers, tankers and container ships – were all down in 2012, the financial year covered by the survey. The bulker index was down by 7 points, or 3.9%, on a year-on-year basis, while the tanker index fell by 5 points, or 3.0%. The container ship index was meanwhile down by 3 index points, or 1.8%. The corresponding figures in last year’s OpCost report showed 3-point increases in both the bulker and tanker indices, and a 5-point increase in the container ship index.

There was a 0.2% overall average fall in 2012 crew costs compared to the 2011 figure. (By way of comparison, the 2008 report revealed a 21% increase in this category.) Tankers overall experienced a fall in crew costs of 2.3% on average, compared to the 2.2% increase recorded in OpCost 2012. Within the tanker sector, Aframaxes reported an overall fall of 5.2% in crew costs, while for operators of Suezmaxes and product tankers the reductions were 4.0% and 3.8% respectively. The only tanker categories to show significant increases in crew costs were 3,000-8,000 cbm LPG carriers and Panamax tankers, where such costs were up by 5.2% and 2.8% respectively.

For bulkers, meanwhile, the overall average fall in crew costs was 0.5%, compared to a 2.8% increase the previous year. The operators of Panamax bulkers paid 3.7% less than in 2011. Handysize bulkers and those in the 10,000-20,000 dwt range, meanwhile, each experienced crew cost reductions of 4.8%. For container ships, the reduced spend on crew averaged 1.0% (as opposed to a 3.4% increase in 2011), although operators of reefer tonnage did pay 3.7% more than in the previous year.

For repairs and maintenance, there was an overall fall in costs of 1.9%, compared to the 1.1% increase recorded for 2011. The only categories of tonnage to show a significant increase here were dry cargo ships of 25,000 dwt and above (5.0%) and 70,000-85,000 cbm LPG carriers (3.2%). The overall fall in repairs and maintenance costs for the bulker sector averaged out at 4.6%, for the tanker sector it was 2.9%, and for container ships it was 2.0%.

Expenditure on stores was down this time by 2.1% overall, having risen by 2.7% in OpCost 2012. The biggest fall in such costs was the 7.7% recorded by bulk carriers in the 10,000-20,000 dwt range. For bulk carriers overall, stores costs fell by an average of 4.5%, while in the tanker and container ship sectors the overall reductions in costs were 2.9% and 1.4% respectively. The most significant increases in stores expenditure was recorded by the operators of 40,000-50,000 dwt chemical tankers (4.5%).

The biggest overall drop in operating costs was the 6.2% recorded in respect of insurance. Only RoRos (5.1%), LPG carriers of between 70,000 and 85,000 cbm (3.0%) and very large container ships (1.4%) actually spent more on insurance in 2012 than in 2011. Reefer operators actually spent 16.4% less, but it was the bulker sector which recorded the biggest reduction in terms of its overall payments to underwriters, averaging out across all tonnage sizes at 8.9%, compared to 7.0% for tankers.

Moore Stephens partner Richard Greiner says: “There is a lot of ‘red ink’ in costs, which actually translates into ‘black ink’ in the bottom line for owners. Significantly, 2012 recorded a year-on-year reduction in operating costs, only the second time this has occurred since OpCost was launched.

“It is no coincidence that, during the operating period covered by OpCost 2013, confidence levels in the shipping industry dropped to their lowest point in the past five years, according to the Moore Stephens Shipping Confidence Survey. So it is unsurprising to find that expenditure declined. The industry generally was under extreme pressure during an extended global economic downturn, and attending to items of manageable cost control was an imperative at a time when revenues were declining.

“That said, however, the 6.2% overall fall in insurance costs across all tonnage types is something of a surprise, given the repeated warnings issued by hull underwriters of the dangers of pitching rates too low. It is perhaps simply the case that declining vessel values are being reflected in declining premium costs.

“The fall in operating costs recorded in OpCost 2013 is good news for owners and operators. So, too, is the fact that the global economic outlook is starting to look brighter. But any optimism should be tempered with caution. Foreseeable – if not entirely quantifiable – costs, not least those related to regulatory compliance, have the potential to make a large hole in the industry’s cashflow over the coming year. So a mix of optimism, forward planning, and ongoing risk management would seem to be a good recipe for the future.”

moorestephens.co.uk
 

Maritime Reporter March 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Tanker Trends

North Sea: Potential VLCC Moves to South Korea

North Sea Forties crude differentials were unchanged on Wednesday in very quiet pre-Easter trade, with dealers still watching two potential VLCC shipments to Asia

All Items Approved at Stolt-Nielsen Meeting

Stolt-Nielsen Limited announced that all agenda items were approved and all nominated directors were elected at its Annual General Meeting of shareholders held yesterday in Bermuda.

Petrobras, Mitsui Study South Brazil LNG Import Terminal

Brazil's state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA and Japanese trading house Mitsui Corp will study building a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in the country's southernmost state,

Bulk Carrier Trends

SC Ports Report Record Pier Container Volumes

Georgetown grows 10 percent fiscal year to date Today South Carolina Ports reported March pier container volumes were the highest since August 2008. Last month the Port handled 85,

West Coast is Key for Exporting Bigger Canada Crops

Canada needs to invest in shipping more grains and oilseeds off the West Coast as harvests get larger, to avoid the massive transportation backlogs that followed last year's record crops,

Collision, Grounding and Anchor Draggings in Chesapeake Bay

The U.S. Coast Guard is working with local response agencies and the Virginia and Maryland Pilots Tuesday after receiving a report of a collision between two ships

Finance

POSH may raise $311 Mln in Singapore IPO

PACC Offshore Services Holdings (POSH) could raise at least S$388.27 million ($311 million) after pricing its initial public offering near the bottom of the pricing range indicated earlier,

Holland American Line donates $100,000 to Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation

In honor of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu’s work to spread peace, justice and democracy around the globe, Holland America Line has made a $100,000 donation to

Woodside Q1 earning up, no Leviathan deal

Woodside Petroleum, Australia's largest independent oil and gas producer, reported a 5 percent rise in first quarter production on Thursday but said it had not

Container Ships

SC Ports Report Record Pier Container Volumes

Georgetown grows 10 percent fiscal year to date Today South Carolina Ports reported March pier container volumes were the highest since August 2008. Last month the Port handled 85,

Hapag-Lloyd, CSAV Merger Finalized

Hapag-Lloyd and CSAV binding agreement signed / In return for contributing its container business, CSAV becomes new core shareholder of Hapag-Lloyd / Hapag-Lloyd

Quiet March Sees Cargo Slow in Long Beach

Harsh winter elsewhere, ship deployment changes soften traffic Container volumes at the Port of Long Beach dipped in March, compared to the same month one year ago, with a decline of 1.

Logistics

SC Ports Report Record Pier Container Volumes

Georgetown grows 10 percent fiscal year to date Today South Carolina Ports reported March pier container volumes were the highest since August 2008. Last month the Port handled 85,

Quiet March Sees Cargo Slow in Long Beach

Harsh winter elsewhere, ship deployment changes soften traffic Container volumes at the Port of Long Beach dipped in March, compared to the same month one year ago, with a decline of 1.

West Coast is Key for Exporting Bigger Canada Crops

Canada needs to invest in shipping more grains and oilseeds off the West Coast as harvests get larger, to avoid the massive transportation backlogs that followed last year's record crops,

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Standards Offshore Oil Pipelines Port Authority Salvage Ship Repair Ship Simulators Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1038 sec (10 req/sec)