Two German container shipowners that had previously requested aid from the German state have withdrawn their applications, the Financial Times reported Tuesday.
Jochen Dohle, president of Peter Dohle Schiffahrt, told the Financial Times it had withdrawn its application last week. Another owner, Claus-Peter Offen, had previously announced it no longer planned to rely on state support.
Specialized container shipowners that charter ships to container shipping lines have been hard hit by the slump in container traffic volume and freight rates. Container lines with excess capacity have handed many chartered ships back to owners, leaving hundreds unemployed.
Germany’s specialist container shipowners control about a third of the world’s container fleet and 60 to 70 percent of all the new ships on order, meaning the crisis is affecting Germany more severely than any other shipowning country.
Dohle told the Financial Times it had withdrawn its application after receiving “numerous questions” from officials scrutinizing the request. Dohle confirmed on Oct. 22 that it was seeking help from the German government’s Deutschlandsfonds, for companies hit by the economic crisis, to finance its orders for new ships.
“We’ve simply said: ‘We leave it and we wait until the overall political situation can clarify whether help for shipping is granted or not,’” Dohle said.
Claus-Peter Offen previously told Lloyd’s List that it was no longer planning to rely on state funding to finance its order book.
Jochen Dohle said his company had sought state help with funding 20 to 30 percent of the debt financing for seven of the 14 container ships it had on order. The banks it normally uses were no longer able to provide that portion of the funding.
Claus-Peter Offen, like many other container shipowners, is struggling to raise money for its ship orders because investors in KG funds are no longer willing to provide cash following a series of insolvencies among funds.
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