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Breakbulk July 2018

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July 2018 | The Journal of Commerce 15 www.joc.com Breakbulk & Project Cargo a 100-metric-ton (110-ton) oversize freight item when it called at DP World's Nhava Sheva (India) Gate- way Terminal (NSIGT) in April. Officials at DP World Nhava Sheva told The Journal of Commerce the shipment was the heaviest lift ever by any terminal at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) and that the complex operation cemented its position as the most efficient terminal at JNPT. "DP World Nhava Sheva is the only terminal at JNPT, equipped with state-of-the-art infrastructure to handle cargo at this scale. With this, DP World Nhava Sheva has achieved a major milestone for the heaviest ever cargo to be loaded on a AS WEAK DEMAND and overcapac- ity conditions continue to haunt container shipping, India's growing breakbulk/project cargo trade is becoming a sweetener for ocean car- riers operating to and from the Asian emerging market economy. In another sign of that cargo trend, intended to achieve great- er capacity utilization, the MSC Sola — a 11,600-TEU ship deployed in the Himalaya Express Service between India and Europe — loaded A taste for breakbulk Container carriers taking more of a bite of India's project cargo/breakbulk trade India Special Correspondent 45,200-dwt. container/ro-ro vessels, two of which MSC has chartered for the Italy-Turkey service. Despite these intrusions from "outsiders," the leading European breakbulk operators continue to boost their fleets as their markets pick up. Thorco Projects acquired several vessels, mainly in the 12,000-25,000 dwt. sector, including a ship with two cranes with a lifting capacity of 450 metric tons, in the first quarter. "The project market is off to a good start, and we have been able to find some new and interesting ways to expand and strengthen our fleet. We have worked up an appetite and are keen to maintain momentum," said Thomas Mikkelsen, CEO of the Danish line. While project cargo remains its core business, the company has also expanded its market reach, creating a new dry cargo unit in December and moving into the 20,000-35,000 dwt. segment. "The establishment of this division allows us to explore the syn- ergies between the multipurpose and smaller Handy markets, which have been continuously overlapping in the past few years," Mikkelsen said. Other bullish lines include Amsterdam-based Spliethoff, which has six 18,000-dwt. multipurpose ice-class vessels on order in China, the first of which is scheduled for de- livery by Zhejiang Ouhua Shipbuild- ing next January. The supply-demand balance in the multipurpose shipping sector is also improving, albeit modestly, as smaller, older vessels and those without less heavy-lift capacity are being scrapped with the new International Maritime Organization emissions and ballast water regulations increasing demo- lition of a fleet with an average age exceeding 20 years. For now multipurpose ship- ping, particularly the heavy-lift and project cargo sectors, is basking in a relatively positive environment after years of sliding demand and falling freight rates that threatened to become the industry norm. However, many operators are facing financial challenges, and further consolidation through merg- ers and acquisitions, coupled with bankruptcies, is anticipated. l email: brucebarnard47@hotmail.com Container carriers have strategically shied their focus to balancing their freight mix in order to create new revenue streams. Shutterstock.com

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