Tanker owners are looking to rejuvenate their fleets. Nothing new, I hear you say, ordering new ships is what owners do.
But talk of a nascent consolidation in the sector suggested things could be different this time around. Shipowners with strong enough balance sheets could be looking at other ways to expand, rather than ordering new vessels and adding to an oversupplied market.
Brazilian iron ore producer Vale is facing up to a new challenge as hull cracks were found on a third converted very large ore carrier (VLOC) ship it has on charter and the viability of the vessel class came under scrutiny.
But, should Vale lose faith in the VLOC fleet, the repercussions will boom throughout the market.
In 1969, Instinet founded the first ever electronic trading system. Though it only published bids and offers, it began a technological revolution that would lead to Globex and eventually to high frequency trading platforms capable of performing thousands of trades each minute from a mobile phone.
You’d forgive shipowners for feeling a little uncertain about their fuel bills at the moment. Last year they faced apocalyptic warnings about the rise in costs to come as European and North American regulators cut sulphur limits for bunkers, but then oil prices collapsed. Many are now left wondering when they’re going to start feeling the financial impact of the new regulations.