23.11.16 | Shipping industry under pressure

On August 31. 2016, Hanjin Shipping filed for bankruptcy after months of trying to raise liquidity and restructure its debt. Hanjin Shippings collapse is by far the largest container shipping bankruptcy in history and the consequences will continue to reverberate throughout international supply chains and the transportation sector.

Later, this October, Flinter Group was forced to request suspension of payments for a large number of companies of the group after their bank had terminated the credit facility granted. When this became public other lenders also accelerated their loans to the group companies.  

In November, Dutch Banks terminated their credits to ABIS Shipping; ABIS not being able to continue the business putting their fleet up for auction end of November. This action again affected various well-known companies which had the ABIS Shipping fleet in Commercial Management. Many of these vessels were already committed to larger projects in 2017.

How do you as a cargo owner and shipper supposedly act in this market?

First of all, we, as a project forwarder, have to protect our clients and partners anyway possible to avoid that your business will be affected by these negative trends in the market. Our industry has to move into being not only a transport and project management company, but indeed to become a partner that serves our customers in risk assessments and risk management of the markets.

As we all tend to seek professional help when investing shares, pension funds, having legal matters – we as partners in project shipping, have to become a professional sparring with inbound know-how and market information, to secure that the risk stays at a minimum.

Certainly our Global Risk Management in Martin Bencher Group has moved a lot more focus on the market trends and development. We have developed a more analytic approach, and together with our clients, we constantly have to read the market and be one step ahead.

By Jeppe Frank, Group CCO - Martin Bencher Group 

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