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A group of Norwegian investors and Henning Oldendorff, chairman of the largest charterer of dry-bulk vessels, are forming a shipping bank that will start next year to fill a funding gap in the shipping industry.
The bank's largest shareholders are Henning Oldendorff, Chairman of Oldendorff Carriers GmbH, and Spencer Trading Inc., controlled by Norwegian investor Arne Blystad.
"The ordering wave is indeed worrying," said Henning Oldendorff, chairman of Oldendorff Carriers, one of the world's largest dry cargo operators.
"If it coincides with a China slowdown and possible recession in the global steel industry, then freight rates could potentially stay low for many years to come." Oldendorff estimated some 35 million deadweight tons of new capacity was ordered during the first half of 2013, well above the 22 million dwt ordered during the whole 2012.
"The ordering wave is indeed worrying," said Henning Oldendorff, chairman of Oldendorff Carriers, one of the world's largest dry cargo operators with about 400 owned and chartered ships.
"If it coincides with a China slowdown and possible recession in the global steel industry, then freight rates could potentially stay low for many years to come," Oldendorff told Reuters. He estimated some 35 million dwt (deadweight tonnes) of new capacity was ordered during the first half of 2013, well above the 22 million dwt ordered during the whole 2012. Oldendorff said a replay of the last four years could have more severe consequences because the current recovery would be shortlived, leaving less time for shipowners to rebuild cash reserves. "There will be more failures in the next few years in the bulker field," he warned.
According to Henning Oldendorff, chairman of Oldendorff Carriers, the benefit for owners would be the reduction of the number of LTPMs, or Less Than Perfect Matches between ships and cargoes.
He also believes the internet will expedite the negotiation of charterparties and help users to sift through vast amounts of information effectively. Oldendorff sees three factions when it comes to chartering online. A, the sceptics, who look upon e-commerce as a "flu that will go away"; B, the moderates, who say that "the skills of the broker have to be in the forefront"; and C, the radicals, who say that there will be an e-marketplace. Oldendorff considers himself a radical. The internet, he says, will free creative brokers to "do the really interesting stuff" in the future. He also predicted that only one portal would succeed per business - one for tankers, one for dry cargo, procurement, bunkers - because users want to see all the information in one place. Once online chartering catches on, he said, there will be a stampede. But he thinks it will take at least 5-10 years before this happens.
Henning Oldendorff, the president of Oldendorff Carriers, explained that synergies between Oldendorrff and FSG had become limited as Oldendorff Carriers does not operate ro-ro ships.
He said that Oldendorff is proud to have been associated with FSG during the time it became a leader in the ro-ro market, but the time has come to move on and concentrate all its resources on continuing to grow its bulk cargo operations.
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