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Hvide Investment Signals Consolidation Continuation

It's cliche but true: Only the strong can survive the unprecedented level of merger and acquisition activity sweeping the maritime industry around the world.

In a move that will double the size of its towing operations, Hvide Marine has acquired the 14-vessel harbor tug fleet of Bay Transportation Corp. (Tampa, Fla.). Aside from adding an estimated $17 million in incremental revenues to Hvide's coffers, this acquisition sends an undeniable message that the consolidation of power continues at a torrid pace. "The acquisition of Bay Transportation adds a first class fleet of tractor tugs to our towing operations and extends our geographic reach in the growing Gulf of Mexico market," said J. Erik Hvide, chairman, president and CEO. "More important still, it signals the start of our new consolidation initiative in the U.S. harbor tug business which, with more than 40 mainly small and private operators nationwide, has many of the same characteristics of the offshore workboat business before its recent consolidation. Bay Transportation is the main provider of harbor towing services in the Port of Tampa and charters tugboats to other operators in the ports of San Francisco and Long Beach, Calif. Its 14-vessel fleet includes six tractor tugs and will bring to 30 the number of tugs operated by Hvide Marine, including nine tractor tugs.

Hvides's other towing operations include Port of Everglades and Port Canaveral Towing in Florida, Mobile Bay Towing in Alabama, and Hvide's Offshore Towing fleet operating mainly in the Gulf of Mexico. Hvide operates a fleet of 158 vessels in two core businesses: Marine Support Services (126 vessels), and Marine Transportation Services (32 vessels).

The $6 M Module Excitement is still brewing over the $6 million contract Hvide signed with Halter Marine earlier this year, for the construction of two Ship Docking Modules (SDM) scheduled for delivery early next year. The SDM is a double-ended ship-docking vessel designed in conjunction with Elliott Bay Design Group and representing the next generation of harbor tugs. October, 1997 39 "This is the first major breakthrough in tugboat design in nearly 100 years," said Erik Hvide, chairman, president and CEO. "The SDM's rounded shape and twin Z-drives give it unmatched maneuverability and power, making it the safest and most cost-efficient ship-docking vessel in the world. It's the first vessel capable of generating 100 percent of its bollard pull in any direction - forward, backward and sideways. It's so different from a conventional er's view of the short sea container port, detailing key points such as typical contract points, responsibilities and expectations, selling points and management issues. In Europe especially, the traditional trend of shipping lines investing in ports and terminals is being matched by a reverse trend of ports buying and operating short sea container lines, sometimes as a means of protecting throughputs.

Intense Competition Despite volume growth, almost every short sea market is characterized by intense competition and constant change. The European and Asian markets provide a marked contrast in terms of short sea shipping.

European short sea container operators experience a high degree of modal competition from ferry operators and forwarders, all against a background of a mature market showing modest growth. Asian operators, on the other hand, have only limited modal competition in a market demonstrating dramatic growth in line with the economies of the Far East. However, what is common to both markets is the ongoing downward pressure on freight rates.

Northern Europe has seen the advent of the Channel Tunnel and the ripple effect on freight rates this massive injection of new capacity has caused.

The fixed-link between Continental Europe and Scandinavia will undoubtedly affect shipping operations and freight rates in the Baltic when completed around the millennium. Meanwhile, the emergence of the countries of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union offers a massive potential market, but one fraught with uncertainties and difficulties. Ship sharing and the formation of alliances is becoming increasingly common as a means of controlling costs and defending market shares in short sea container markets. However, even this has not been enough to protect leading operator Bell Lines from financial disaster in European door-to-door trade. Many feeder operators also face extreme pressure and the survey provides a detailed analysis of the cost structure of feeder operations in the key regional markets of the world.

For more information on the new survey Short Sea Container Markets: The Feeder and Regional Trade Dynamo, contact Drewry Shipping Consultants Ltd., Drewry House, Meridian Gate - South Quay, 213 Marsh Wall, London E14 9FJ, tel: +44 (0) 171 538 0191.

Seakeeping Prediction System Introduced Consilium Marine AB recently introduced its new SAL SPS system. The purpose of the Seakeeping Prediction System (SPS) is to provide information regarding waveinduced dynamic effects on the ship.

The information is obtained by theoretical calculations in combination with measurements of the ship motions.

The SAL SPS allows basic configuration monitoring of bow slamming, green water on deck, hull vertical bending moment, acceleration levels and effective heel angles.

SAL SPS displays responses in a processed form in terms of the most probable maximum value encountered during a certain period of time.

The new system also features a more sophisticated forecast intended to serve as an operational guidance tool in critical situations.

This service allows the operator to test the outcome of different actions prior to executing them in reality and will also indicate the optimum corrective action.

For more information on Consilium Marine AB Circle 13 on Reader Service Card Yanmar Unveils Four-Stroke Six-Cylinder Diesel Engine For Pleasure Crafts Using the more economical diesel engine has traditionally meant sacrificing space and weight. Yanmar Diesel America Corp. has reportedly changed that by releasing the 6LP-DTE, a four-stroke, six-cylinder diesel engine that is part of its new series of engines for pleasure craft. The overhead cam design develops maximum horsepower at higher rpms. This design accommodates smaller, smootherrunning propellers and, at 3,800 rpm, the turbo-charged diesel produces 250 hp — the same horsepower produced by V8, 454 cu. in. gas engines. Yet the 6LP-DTE weighs only 836 lbs. Its power-toweight ratio of 3.3 lbs. per hp is reportedly one of the lowest on the market.

The engine measures only 37.4 x 26.4 x 28.7 in. and features a 3.7 in. bore, a 3.9 in. stroke and a 254 cu. in. displacement.

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