Ulrich Ulrichs has been named chief commercial officer (CCO) of multipurpose/heavy-lift (MPV/HL) BBC Chartering as of May 2. He will lead the group’s commercial business development planning and eventually become CEO “after a transition period,” according to a statement from the carrier, which has clarified neither the length of this transition period nor current CEO Svend Andersen’s role following the transition.
A longtime member of the MPV/HL shipping industry, Ulrichs formerly worked with AAL and Rickmers-Line, where his most recent position was CEO.
BBC Chartering, based in Leer, Germany, is owner-operator of the world’s largest owned and chartered MPV/HL vessel fleet in deadweight tonnage and lift capacity, according to a recently released report from maritime consultancy Dynamar. The carrier typically operates a fleet of 140-180 vessels, with lift capacities of up to 1,400 metric tons, in tramp and semi-liner services.
Andersen, current CEO of BBC Chartering, and Roelf Briese, managing director with BBC Chartering and CEO and founder of Briese Schiffarht, sister company of BBC Chartering, said in a joint statement hiring Ulrichs “is an important step to lead BBC Chartering into the future, and to further build the market’s most trusted and highest-performing global project carrier.” The carrier noted that Ulrichs has shown an ability to manage and develop family-owned shipping businesses, typical in this shipping segment.
Before joining BBC Chartering, Ulrichs was most recently with Rickmers-Line, which is now part of Zeaborn. When leaving, he said, “After steering Rickmers-Line through turbulent waters for seven years, I have decided that it is time for a change and a break before I seek new challenges.” Rickmers-Line, formerly Rickmers-Linie, was acquired by Zeaborn in 2017.
Ulrichs had joined Rickmers-Linie in 2005, became director in 2008, deputy managing director in 2011, and managing director in 2012, according to the company website. He was named CEO in 2014 and continued in that position until leaving the company.
In an interview with JOC.com earlier in 2019, Andersen predicted rates would increase in the MPV/HL sector this year due to growing demand for specialized transport, as well as rising costs from the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO’s) ballast water treatment regulations, already in force, and low-sulfur fuel requirements that will be imposed starting Jan. 1, 2020.
On the demand side, he pointed to increased activity in the oil and gas sector, and to cargo diversification away from oil and gas into steel and power generation, including wind equipment. He also noted that the sector currently has a very weak newbuilding schedule, despite the fact that much of the global fleet will soon be outdated thanks to the IMO ballast water and low-sulfur fuel regulations.