Leading German ship managers and owners MPC Steamship and Thien & Heyenga have formed a partnership to market their combined fleet of 102 container vessels to ocean carriers in the latest consolidation in the troubled ship charter market.
MPC Steamship is acquiring a 50 percent stake in Contchart Hamburg, a ship chartering company founded by tramp shipowner Thien & Heyenga at the beginning of the year.
The joint fleet comprises container vessels between 400 and 5,000 20-foot-equivalent units, and nine bulk carriers between 35,000 and 180,000 deadweight tons.
“It is a great difference whether you have 10 or 100 vessels of a wide range at your disposal and that you are constantly in dialogue with all leading container liner companies,” said Gundolf Hartzig, joint managing director of Contchart Hamburg.
“This advantage should not be underestimated in the current situation in a shipping market that is affected by stagnation and will only recover very slowly,” he said.
The companies said the joint venture has created “a ground-breaking platform,” which will be open to other container shipowners, some of whom are struggling for survival amid plunging charter rates.
MPC Steamship, a unit of MPC Capital, joined forces with Hamburg-based Ahrenkiel Shipmanagement in early September to market a fleet of 52 container ships with a total capacity of 137,000 TEUs.
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