ICS issues wake up call for shipbrokers
Shipbrokers may soon have to show evidence of professional qualifications, warns the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers (ICS). Speaking at the Hong Kong Shipowners' Association on April 11, James Freeland, president of the ICS, pointed out that unlike other professions that deal with money, such as accountants and stockbrokers, shipbrokers are not required to pass any exams. "If shipbrokers don't wake up to this situation and do something about it, they may find themselves suddenly having restrictions imposed on them by regulatory bodies such as the Financial Services Authority in the UK," he warns. This may involve having to show evidence of attaining recognised professional qualifications. Part of the problem is the ease with which shipbrokers can set up shop.
Panamax Rates Slip Slightly
Panamax freight rate ideas for the immediate future have slipped back slightly, shipbrokers said. Overall, Panamax freight rates in the Atlantic are seen as softer, while the Pacific market is deemed relatively steady. However, shipbrokers are eager to see some sign this week that the Panamax market will stabilize. The start of the week saw a three to five month period charter fixed at $11,000 daily for the 1990 built 68,789 dwt Antwerpia, but the latest booking, for the 1989 built 69,406 dwt Anangel Progress, shows a slightly lower negotiated level. The Anangel Progress is scheduled for delivery Continent just before mid-March and is chartered for a three to five month trading contract at $10,900 daily, said shipbrokers.
Is Your Email Putting You at Risk?
International Transport Intermediaries Club (ITIC) says that shipbrokers run the risk of exposure to substantial liabilities as a result of inadequate monitoring of their email communications. In the latest issue of its Claims Review, ITIC cites the case of a shipbroker acting for a shipowner which had a demurrage claim against charterers. The charter party included a 60-day notification period and a 90-day time-bar for documented claims. The owner passed the full documented claim to the shipbroker, which sent it to the charterer via email on the same day, to the email address specified by the charterer. The shipbroker did not receive any email failure notice or rejection and, on this basis, believed that it had been sent successfully.
ICAP Shipping in Merger Talks
Shipping market prospects picking up after record downturn; shipbroker M&A deals have gathered pace this year. ICAP's shipping business is in merger talks with rival shipbroker Howe Robinson, the latest potential tie-up among sector players looking for scale after years of freight market turmoil. The shipping industry has suffered one of its worst ever downturns in the past five years. Owners ordered large numbers of vessels between 2007 and 2009, just as the global economy started to slow. Prospects have brightened recently as world trade picks up and the glut of ships is absorbed, but recovery remains fragile. In the meantime, many shipbrokers view larger operations with global teams as the best way to position for a full market revival.
Panamax Market Should Enjoy Solid Week
Increased demand in the Atlantic is likely to keep Panamax trading into positive territory this week, shipbrokers said on Monday. They said Atlantic Capesize freight rates had risen in recent days, especially for Capesizes available for early loading positions and time-charters. Reports in the sector had suggested Belgium charterer Bocimar had time-chartered a number of Capesizes lately and freight rates had risen sharply on the back of anticipated demand in the area, shipbrokers said. A prime example was a Capesize transatlantic voyage trading at around $15,829 a day, or $1,000 over the rate charged last week for a similar trip. Continued interest in the South American market had also prompted a rise in rates for grain shipments out of the U.S Gulf…
Panamax Rates Softer
Panamax freight rates were softer in the Atlantic and the market was relatively quiet on Wednesday, shipbrokers said while business from the South American grain export season had not managed to boost Atlantic market sentiment. While the list of fresh enquiry was growing each day, the pace of activity in the area was not as rapid as some had hoped. But shipbrokers remained optimistic that by April the season would be in full swing, and Panamax owners would be reaping the benefits. In the meantime, activity in the Atlantic Panamax market was generally dull. Owners of modern Panamaxes noted that while the accepted daily rate for an Atlantic round voyage was trading around $11,500 last week, the current level was closer to $11,000.
StrategicIMX Completes Shipbroking Desktop Integration
Strategic Software has announced that StrategicIMX can now integrate all users of existing Strategic and Dataworks shipbroking software over the internet. A number of companies are already benefiting from IMX. US-based McQuilling Brokerage and Charles R. Weber are among the tanker brokers utilising the fully functional TankerIMX, a version specifically designed to cater for the tanker industry. E-Jan/DryBulkIMX, the IMX software for companies involved in dry bulk ocean transportation, is being used by NYK Line, Japanese shipbroker Yamamizu and other Japanese, European and US shipbrokers and shipowners.
Shipbrokers, Oil Brokerage House Form Freight Forwards
BraemarTankers Ltd., Galbraith's Ltd., E.A.Gibson Shipbrokers Ltd., PVM Oil Associates Ltd. and Seascope Shipping Ltd. have formed Global Freight Forwards Limited. The company has been created initially to broker forward freight swaps for the tanker market segment in key trade routes. Contracts have been devised to meet multi-client needs and in response to Owners' and Charterers' requirements for freight protection without taking physical delivery. Global Freight Forwards Limited will be supported by four of the leading London based shipbrokers with a global client base together with PVM Oil Associates, the foremost oil brokerage house, which brings its years of experience of screen and paper oil markets.
Atlantic Panamax Market Positive
Positive sentiment continued to support the Atlantic Panamax market supported, shipbrokers said on Wednesday. The Pacific sector was seen as calm, with any losses to Panamax freight rates seen as ‘marginal.’ As the Lunar New Year holiday continues in the Far East, the Atlantic sector remained generally upbeat, shipbrokers said. Freight rates for the sector continued to improve, and even the slight reductions on some Pacific panamax trades were not considered destructive to the overall market tone. "I would still say that it is an owners market rather than charterers market," one shipbroker said. Current market sentiment is in contrast to those who have voiced concern that the Atlantic would find it difficult to hold on to a gently upward trend throughout the holiday period.
Panamax Sector Remains Positive
The Panamax sector remains positive, although the prompt market is turning cautious, shipbrokers said. While freight rates and indices continue to show either gains or at least repeats of last done healthy levels, the early March market undertone is seen as slightly softer. In the Atlantic, shipbrokers report that so far there are no fixtures to support softer sentiment. Fixtures such as the charter of the 1997 built 73,606 dwt CSK Eminence booked for delivery Amsterdam in early March show a stable market. The ship has been fixed for two laden legs at a rate reported to be $11,500 daily. Meanwhile, cargo enquiry out of the U.S. Gulf is limited, although fixtures that have been reported show a steady market. The Panamax chartered to transport a 56,000 ton heavy grain cargo from the U.S.
Atlantic Panamax Rates Firm Up in Far East
Atlantic panamax freight rates are softer in contrast to returns for panamaxes trading the Far East where rates are firmer, shipbrokers said on Tuesday. Atlantic freight rates, however, could stabilize in the days ahead, they added, suggesting that the Pacific panamax rate rise could be reaching a peak. The reason behind the Atlantic stabilization theory is that ice problems in the Mississippi may not be as bad as originally thought. Shipbrokers said that suppliers are now confident that they will be able to get cargoes down to the US Gulf on schedule. Moreover, grain purchasing activity has picked up considerably over the past few days. Shipbrokers report that China has purchased ten panamax grain cargoes recently.
Panamax Sector Is Soft
The Atlantic panamax sector remains soft, shipbrokers said, adding that the number of spot ships available for hire is keeping freight rates depressed especially as new business is limited. Subsequently, charterers have the upper hand, as shipowners and brokers wait for fresh orders. Despite the slow start to the week, shipbrokers are hopeful that more business will develop. Until these orders appear, however, shipowners with early tonnage are likely to find softer fixture rates inevitable, said shipbrokers. On the fixtures front, while late last week charterers booked a Panamax at $14.25 per ton of grain for a US Gulf to Egypt run, shipbrokers have since reported the booking of another Panamax at $13.90 per ton for the same route.
Panamax Rates Hold Strong
Freight rates for Panamaxes trading the Atlantic are holding strong but the Pacific market is now starting to weaken, shipbrokers said. "Prospects for May in the Atlantic are very good as South American business is expected to accelerate," said a shipbroker, adding that the strength in the Atlantic Panamax market was likely to continue into next month. South America's grain export season started later than expected this year and should therefore produce further opportunities for the Panamax sector in late spring, he said. One fixture was reported for this market on Tuesday, the 1981-built Golden Glow, 63,990 dwt, for prompt delivery Piraeus to be followed by an east coast of South America round voyage for at a daily rate of $10,250.
Shipbroker Chases Down Payment Due
Persistence pays off for shipbroker's legitimate claim for outstanding financial commission due from time-charterer. In the latest issue of its Claims Review, International Transport Intermediaries Club (ITIC) recounts the case of a shipbroker owed outstanding commission by time-charterers who were widely thought to be in financial difficulties. The charter party provided that the time-charterers were obliged to deduct the broker’s commission from the hire and pay this directly to the broker. The charterers had deducted commission of EUR 50,514 from the hire, but had only paid Euros 20,000 to the broker. Then payments suddenly ceased without explanation. ITIC wrote to the time charterers on behalf of its shipbroker client on two occasions and was advised that payment was to follow.
Atlantic Panamax Rates Soften, Fixtures Lay Low
Sentiment for the Atlantic panamax freight market may be softening while fixture rates stay on the low side, shipbrokers said on Tuesday. "It may be settled in the (Far) East but panamax freight in the Atlantic looks softer as there are still lower rates being reported," said one London-based broker. The majority of routes quoted on the overall Baltic Panamax Index rose by three points on Tuesday to 1,309 - but the transatlantic round voyage timecharter route, a key element of the Index, eased by $25 to a daily average of $10,798. Regarding fixtures, shipbrokers reported a buoyant prompt rate of $8,250 daily for a backhaul charter for the 1997-built, 73,427 dwt panamax Fearless, fixed for prompt Kinoura delivery followed by a trip via the north Pacific with Med redelivery.
Braemar to Buy Shipbroker peer ACM; M&A Activity Heats Up
Braemar Shipping Services will buy fellow British shipbroker ACM Shipping Group in the latest industry shake-up as players look to grow after years of freight market turmoil. In the biggest deal to date, Braemar, whose businesses include ship broking, said on Tuesday it had agreed to acquire the entire share capital of ACM. "What this transaction is about is growing our shipbroking presence collectively," said Braemar chief executive James Kidwell. Ship owners ordered large numbers of vessels between 2007 and 2009 just as the global economy sank into crisis…
Fonasba Endorses Revised Norwegian Saleform
The Federation of National Associations of Shipbrokers and Agents, (FONASBA), has endorsed the newly released SALEFORM 2012, developed jointly by the Norwegian Shipbrokers Association (NSA) and BIMCO. SALEFORM is the shipping industry’s most widely used agreement for the sale and purchase of second-hand ships. SALEFORM 2012 builds upon SALEFORM 93 retaining the accepted general principles and familiar structure. “At FONASBA, we are pleased and proud to support publication of the revised NSF 2012, a document whose development reaffirms the position of NSA and BIMCO at the forefront of our profession,” said. the President of FONASBA, Christakis P. Papavassiliou.
SS&Y Capesize Indices
Shipbrokers Simpson, Spence and Young's Pacific Capesize Index fell 243 points to 5,259 in the week ending May 8. "The Pacific Capesize index fell after the holidays in the Far East, with early vessels becoming the victims of a lack of inquiry," SS&Y said. "A $1 fall on the Queensland/Rotterdam route (120/150,000 ton cargo) was certainly not going to help the index, which witnessed its first serious decline since January," SS&Y added. Shipbrokers Simpson, Spence and Young's Atlantic Capesize Index fell 131 points to 4,786 in the week ending May 8. "The Atlantic Capesize index dived on the back of weaker demand, which softened rates for early tonnage. However, iron ore demand in the Atlantic remained steady and limited the fall in rates to more moderate levels," SS&Y said.
Online Bulk Shipping Exchange Will Transform Market
An online shipping exchange being set up by two of the world's biggest oil firms, a leading agrifood multinational and top shipbroker will transform the way traditional shipping markets work, industry experts said. The company, LevelSeas.com, being set up by oil majors BP Amoco and Shell International Trading and Shipping with food processor and distributor Cargill and shipbroker Clarksons, will potentially control 10 percent of bulk commodity movements right from the beginning. The independent Internet company will provide freight management services, online chartering and freight derivatives, across the $100 billion market in the global movement of wet and dry bulk commodities by sea, the four firms said.
Increased Panamax Rates Boost Market Sentiment
Higher panamax freight rates have boosted sentiment in the market amid hopes for further rates increases during the week, shipbrokers said on Monday. They gave as prime example the latest U.S. Gulf to Japan fixture at a rate of $23.25 per ton of heavy grain for mid-July loading dates, this compared with the present Baltic Panamax Index showing an average $22.86 per ton. Firmer fixtures had been also reported for both the Pacific and the Atlantic, brokers said. An undisclosed panamax had been chartered to load 55,000 tons of heavy grains from the River Plate and deliver it to China at a rate of $25.75 per ton, brokers said. Shipbrokers also mentioned the timecharter of the 1999-built 75…
Tanker Earnings Hold Steady
Atlantic Panamax earnings were given a brief respite from the steady erosion of freight rates that has dogged the sector for the past three weeks, shipbrokers said. Brokers felt that freight rates had hit rock bottom, giving Atlantic Panamax returns one last chance to surge before the end of the year. The Baltic Exchange reported that charterer GIC paid $20.85 for an unnamed vessel on the key U.S. Gulf to Japan grain route, which was above last done levels that reached $20.50 earlier in the week for the same route, shipbrokers said. A further two fixtures were reported for the same route at higher freight rates of $21 and $21.25 per ton, confirming Panamax brokers' new-found optimism in the sector.
Panamax Rates Expected to Improve
Panamax freight rates are expected to improve this week, although the Baltic Panamax Index rose just one point to 1,626 on March 12. Shipbrokers said Panamax freight rate movement for voyage charters has been tentatively positive recently, and while some timecharter rates have been marginally negative compared with previously done levels, the Panamax sector seems to be stabilizing ahead of an upward move. The only cause for concern was the decline in the Capesize sector. While it is not impossible for rates in the dry bulk carrier sectors to move in different directions, as the opposite trends of the Capesize and Panamax demonstrated last year, it will be difficult for the Panamax market to ignore a failing Capesize sector.
Panamax Rates Drop To Lowest In Decades
Panamax freight rates touched their lowest levels in years and prospects for a quick recovery in the sector are remote, shipbrokers said on Wednesday. Overall, panamax minerals demand remains light and grain exports are not enough to support panamax freight rates, they said. Initial hopes to see the market bounce from the existing low levels had faded after reports that new enquiry was not strong enough to balance the market against the surplus ship supply, shipbrokers said. Brokers said market talk suggested resistance against pushing rates for October and November positions of the US Gulf to Japan panamax heavy grain benchmark route into the low $18 per ton range.