boasting about profit…

Let’s start with figures. A surprising one is mentionned in today’s BMTI about the Cam fixture ex Continent (rouen) to Algeria, quoted asf « 30,000mt cargo » commented asf « which shipbrokers feel must have been around $23/24/mt ». First of all, the Cam stem was bulk barley, with a min max 33,250/35,000mt, longer loa than usual (200 against 180), better draft in algeria ((12m vs 32’) but in this sceanrio, the draft in Rouen shall be the limit) and I have very good reasons to believe it was done below these $23pmt mentionned by the shipbrokers ; surely today there is a « shooting » window open for grains players on this Rouen to algeria usual trade, being done below last done. I’m not quite sure below $20pmt will be achievable nowadays due to bunkers prices but touch above $20 has already been done this week. Which according to my time charterers estimates is bringing back the 33/34kdwt value on this trade below the $10,000 daily on aps basis.

Also, according to BMTI, people – brokers to be right- are tired about oldendorff’s claiming they are making huge profits. According to me, brokers and the industry shall be rather happy to realize some owners can still make profits in this market. I’m not 100% familiar with the whole activity of Oldendorff meantime, from my seat, Oldendorff and few other players such like Pacific Basin are one of the few owners who are willing to play the same game with the same rules as big trading houses. When charterers are booking in tonnage on long period to supply in-house logistic solutions for their cargoes. Oldendorff -starting from the other side- is booking in cargoes, to provide employment for their ships. Oldendorff’s main commodity are ships.

At the end, whether you start with the ship or with the cargo, surely the more of both you have in hands, the better control on the market you have. Also obviously the more active you are on the market, the more opportunities you have to edge yourself on various positions. Finally the only good reasons for brokers to be tired about principals « boasting about huge profit » is if they are concluding more deals directly, with no brokers (or less) involved. On this specific point, I can’t tell if Oldendorff is trying to get brokers off the deals but major brokers house in Hamburg won’t be that silly to have baunch of oldendorff people at their party if they were feeling unsafe, unless these words coming from the mouth of this brokers, who asked to remain anonymous.

All in all, have  a good afternoon and if we happen to fix a ship/cargo/10 years/10 Million tons or a 10 million ton/year during 10 years contract together, I promise I’ll stay low profile, always and if Oldendorff’s involved, I let them boast about it .lovem




fueling the chartering

Good day,

Seems not the whole shipping world finally made it to Hamburg last week eventhough we could get in touch with people from overseas, South africa, Far East and obviously Europe (including Hamburger and Hamburgerin) and including Brits, (Brexit or no Brexit). On the chartering side, seems the week is starting slowly with not much fresh fixtures to report here. If you’re after fresh figures then your main focus shall be on the bunkers which are hitting levels unseen since July 2015, brent being today at $62.44/barrel. Reading various analysts, OPEC members after trying to keep control on the production, to keep prices up, just needed a brave Prince in Saudia Arabia to sort out the issue on declining oil prices, no matter about the world production’s level.

Obviously, in a still relatively strong chartering market, owners will have no hesitation to add these bunkers prices in their indications on Voyage basis. In short, what charterers may hope to gain thanks to indexes softening a bit, being erased by the bunkers costs. Probably worth, therefore, to take few moments to comment Bimco report, which unless wrong is a quarterly market analysis and as we could feel while discussing with owners and operators in Hamburg, according to Peter Sand (my BIMCO preferred expert), “Capes, have been in profitable territory (above $15,300/day) since 11 august, likewise on Panamaxes, since 5 sept (above $10,200/day) […] On handies up to Ultras, since 21st august, daily income has been covering, on average opex and Capec (operational expenditures and Capital expenditures) […] for the first time since april 2014, level reached above $9,000 daily.”

Demand is mainly driven by China, no surprise, nothing new, and having a look at supply of tonnage, according to Peter Sand still:

  • h-1 2017 28mdwt delivered / 8.5m dwt demolished
  • Q3-2017 6mdwt delivered / 3.6m dwt demolished

Having another look at Bimco Bulletin, a long and interesting article about “FAKE BROKERS”, fixing ghost cargoes (probably sometimes ghost ships) and making sure the one being fooled paying some costs (while liner in for example) to ensure smooth loading operation. With no surprise, once the pre-ops costs are paid the fake broker is disappearing with the money. more info here (not sure if you have access to it if you’re not bimco member).


What’s next?

Paradise paper will probably put few of the shipping/chartering players in a delicate situation Glencore’s already taking a position. They are in line with the local laws.









and so on

Yesterday it was about ADM results being beyond expectations. Today’s about Bunge‘s ones. Baltic Dry Indexes are keeping moving down with only Panamaxes, managing to gain a small +11 and get back above the 1,500 mark. Nothing enough to keep up the excitment, really. Relying on port congestion is a way for market players to hope for again some market bumps in the weeksto come. You can find here some info about coal in China unless the market upward experienced lately is due to a willingness to secure shipments, whichever are the ports capacities to swallow the flow.

Also, having a look at the ships deliveries in 2017, about half of the ships planned to be delivered are still underconstruction in the shipyards, easy to bet, most of these ships will be delivered in 2018, helping owners to save a year on their age… Which in other words, theorically means a ship delivered on 31st december 2017 11.59 pm lt will be 1 year older than the sister ship delivered on January 1st 2018 00.01am LT. Knowing all extra taxes and premiums which applies on ship’s age, this is a costy second, in our case.

If you’re after strong market, then you have to pay some attention on the Coasters, in the black sea, local owners are in the driving seats. unfortunately for owners of larger vessels it’s fairly unlikely charterers will try to swap from coasters to mini handies, unless ports restrictions being arranged to fit in for big mammas. This shall not occur in the next days.

Talking about next days, as mentionned already yesterday, Hamburg will be, once again the capital for the world shipping communauty. Elysée hotel the center of Hamburg on thursday evening. See you there, you can probably spot me close to the beer taps.


(on the top right corner, this is where I usually am)



tips for Eisbein again

Shall we put slow chartering activity, which seems to be softening, on the shoulders of Slovenia’s being off today, together with Germans and Chilean ? Or as mentionned yesterday, as usual when market trend is showing some signs of easing, parties involved having a different interpretation on how fast the market is cooling down leading to a kind of frozen situation.

Surely, with Eisbein showing off by the end of the week, owners, operators and up to a certain extent charterers will be away from their respective desks and we may experience a slow week, in addition tomorrow about 40 countries across the globe will monitor incoming messages, from home, from time to time. This also means some opportunities might show up for either owners and charterers to take advantage out of this busy socializing week.

With this traditional festivities, better to check again your notes, to sharpen your market’s opinion and be in position to bring some bright thoughts.

If some of you reading in copy heading to Hamburg in the coming days, here you have few interesting articles you may wish to read before jumping into your plane/train/ferry/yacht to commute to the Eisbein city and have few subjects you may want to put on the table


  • Then boiling Ballast water management billion dollar market just boiled to far and as a result evaporated
  • About politic and religion, don’t forget to forget talking about this during your business entrevues
  • In case you’re wondering how to cook a nice eisbein





Recipe to success in shipping? Think Chinese

Slow end of last week, followed by a slow Monday. After a nice rally seen during the 3 first week of October, the “soufflé” seems to be deflatting.


A bit earlier than reasonably hoped by Owners, a bit slower than reasonably aimed by charterers. As a result, leaving a frustrated shipping communauty. Still, owners, thanks to the market gains, are more confident about the future. Too confident? would be a quick shortcut, but if you read this:,looking like the listed shipping companies might be able to deliver dividends. Interesting to read the below quote “Scorpio cfo, Hugh Baker, explained that : “If rates increase by $1000 per day, then our annual cash flows improve – for 52 ships times 365days per year, times $1,000 a day, gives us an additional $18.98 million per year.” “Trust the “if” at the begining of the quote is rather important. And of course we shall thank Hugh for his calculation skills and we are all able to wonder, “what if the market decrease by $200/day?”. You have 2 hours to let me know the result of your analysis.

But let’s be positive and believe, as most of the market players, the poor market conditions are behind.

But (again) you should read this piece of paper proposed by splash247 . Which may put down the question: What if the shipping market is too much controlled by China? Aren’t they the final winners for a low shipping market? Don’t they have interest in any case to keep ships (built in China) to be flooding the shipping market?

For sure, having a look at list of fixtures reported in today’s BDI

  • 7 out of 15 are either shipments ex China or to china.
  • Last friday? 10 out of 22 were either shippments Ex China or to China.

And you, looking at the list of fixtures you have done lately,

  • How many are ex china?
  • How many are to china?
  • How many are with a chinese owned ship?
  • How many are with a chinese built ship?

Probably, if “china” is involved, in a way or the other, by much less than 50% of your replies, you can wonder if you’re missing a big part of the shipping cake…

Have a nice evening, nice day wherever you sit in the world. If you’re in china, have a nice night.




thank God… shipping thought

Are you one of the happy few receiving the Alhpabulk weekly newsletter? Either because you subscribed or because you are part of their “free sample program to attract new subscribers“? We are one of those and this week our attention have been caught by their “topic of the week“, under the catching eye title “The case of the missing crew members”. Much to our surprise, Alphabulk is not talking at all about ship’s crew missing, lost at sea after an accident. We shall not forget, too many crew members never coming back home. Few days ago, Wagenborg has been hitted by such dramatical case. You can access more info here . One example out of too many


Alphabulk’s topic of the week is about the probable unbalanced situation which may come in the coming years with many ships at sea and not enough competent officers available to take responsibilities of these ships. Thank god, they’re coming to the (kind of) obvious conclusion stating “this issue is the perfect example of theory Vs reality. In theory there is a good case to be made for ongoing shortages but there is no case practically as nobody in shipping can remember any numbers of ships not sailing for a… lack of seagoing officers”.

Thank God again, we shall have enough officers to be onboard in the coming years. I’m still bit concerned, as Alphabulk coming to this conclusion, without mentionning a single time anything about autonomous ships. In a close future (still need to define on which scale we agree what is “close”) and according to the big buzz we have daily in shipping source of information the missing crews, if any, will not be a point anymore with the coming of autonomous ships. Then, we might get soon (when again?) too many seafarers trained and ready to go overseas on the ships but not enough ship operators having the skills and the know how to operate remotely the ships. As, we must believe, in between fully autonomous ships and ships we currently have at sea, there will be a transition period with ships controlled remotely. Kids, time to spend bit more time on your PS5 joystick, if you want one day to be the Master of the Sea*.


What about Chartering market**? who cares really? Thank God (again and again) it’s sunny Friday afternoon, let’s see next Monday***.

*Should you want to have the full analysis, then please subscribe to Alphabulk weekly newsletter, available here (and I get no commission, if you do so, I’m such a losy broker sometimes) .

**Should you wonder still about chartering market? Well you can still read BMTI, or get on Baltic exchange Index report or give a call here.

***should you still really want to fix now your ship/cargo, please don’t be shy, call, text, whatsapp, facebook, twitter.






Docteur Jekyll and Mister Hyde, daily life of the shipbroker

While we can read in today’s bmti report « Owners’ faith in the future has been severaly dented, hence their desire to find cover as long as possible at prevailing rate levels, sufficient to cover more than just running cost ». This to say, so far october has been a fairly nice month for owners, whichever the size, whichever the loading area, whichever the discharging area. Owners are in « the driving seat ». But, the whole industry has to keep in mind, current level done are allowing owners to make money out of their ship, again. But in average, throught the BDI level, on from Jan to today, on average, market level remains below owners running cost. Owners and operators shall be, to my opinion, well advised to avoid excess of confidence and refrain themselves to go back to the ship yards too quickly.


On the other hand, at least on the grains, the massive production worldwide is also leading grain traders to face difficulties to still make profit, or as per this Bloomberg article, at least make « same profits as before ».

A shortcut would be to say, as always, in this fantastic world, Brokers are still able to handle their way and whichever the market, keep up enjoying a nice lifestyle. Well, brokers need to have principals being in good shape. No principal, no business. Brokers need to protect their principals’ interest, always. But if you allow me a comment, when the industry standard is now « not more than 1 broker involved in the fixture », believe me, sometimes it’s not an easy task as principals only want to talk with Docteur Jekyll. What about Mister Hyde ? the bad guy, is obviously for the counter part. Yes always.
Having said the above, we believe here at Pelagos, protecting principals interests is to be done on the long term. Sometimes on the spot, for the benefit of the said principal, unpleasant money decision has to be made for fixing the cargo/ship, not at the expected freight level. Our role is then to faithfully give our opinion, opinion which of course can always be challenged or discussed so the principal can make up his mind and decide what’s right or wrong.

Have a nice evening in any case