London-based ship manager Newport Shipping has introduced a new revenue sharing agreement (RSA) conceptto the Handysize bulk carrier sector and will now market the scheme under Newport Handy Bulkcarriers.
The RSA concept, proven in the larger Supramax, Panamax and Kamsarmax bulk trades, has been introduced to satisfy a growing need for consolidation in what is an extremely fragmented Handysize market.
Speaking yestreday at a press event marking the scheme’s official introduction, Newport Shipping Chairman and CEO Harald Lone said: “We aim to build up a fleet of Handysize vessels which, through our operational expertise, will deliver greater freight yields to the participants.
“Traditional shipping pools are viewed by many shipowners as bureaucratic and inflexible, especially with regards to fees. For instance, pool management companies normally charge a flat daily fee plus the traditional 1.25% commission on freight regardless of the freight market level. But these fees are not performance-based and the 1.25% commission is, in reality, a fee on bunkers and OPEX; it is not related to any added value from the pool managers.
“We aim to change this by introducing a new remuneration model to the pool concept that better serves the interests of the shipowner. When the shipowner earns money, shipmanagers usually share in this. But if we are can’t beat the Baltic Handy Index, then we shouldn’t be remunerated. Our model can beat the index, creating a win-win situation. The RSA participants earn more, and we as shipmanagers are rewarded for creating added value.”
Currently, there are about 3000 Handysize bulk carriers in the global fleet and these are owned by more than 700 different entities.
“It is a very fragmented ownership structure, and with current market conditions as they are, it is time for shipowners to consolidate, collaborate and cooperate commercially, ” said Lone
Newport Handy Bulkcarriers is expected to build up trading volume by fixing in Contracts of Affreightment (COA) in order to take out freight rate volatility. With its revenue sharing agreement, the Newport Shipping Group is offering tonnage providers an alternative to fixing their ships to operators on an index basis, or tramping the ships in a weak spot market.
“Most shipowners in this segment operate small fleets of say one, two or three vessels but what we want to do is put these shipowners together so they benefit commercially from the greater volume created, ” said Lone.
“It will reduce the ballast leg through optimal scheduling, fix in COAs and offer freight by building up customer relations with trading and mining companies. It will give pool participants a competitive edge and increase the earnings potential for those vessels joining the RSA scheme, ” added Lone.
Newport Shipping’s freight trading and operations teams in Oslo, London and Singapore, together with a central administration working as a single cohesive entity, will negotiate all fixtures either as COAs, time charter or voyage charters. The revenues are then consolidated and distributed in regular intervals to the RSA participants.
The main aspects of the scheme will be to:
- Fix in and execute large COAs on a global basis to key clients;
- Fix in several COAs to achieve trading patterns and triangulate schedules that eliminate the ballasting leg of a round voyage;
- Create economies of scale in marketing and the vessels and in gathering market intelligence;
- Provide greater visibility to a wider range of charterers and cargo owners;
- Spread risks;
- Reduce freight trading, post fixture and operating costs, insurance claims, legal fees, cargo handling, agency fees, port dues, P&I, and bunkering;
- Offer full technical management through Newport Shipping’s subsidiary Ecoships;
- Monitor and provide analysis of individual vessel/voyage performance.
“There are significant financial benefits”, said Lone. “Due to the size of the fleet and greater global coverage, we will be able to position the vessels in the premium locations at the optimum time to increase the average earnings for all participants.”
He added: “From a charterer’s perspective, this type of shipowner collaboration is a very attractive proposition indeed. They will have access to a large fleet of the safest, most energy-efficient tonnage whenever and wherever it’s required.”
To effectively market the Newport Handy Bulkcarriers on a world-wide basis, Newport Shipping has entered into a strategic advisory agreement with Helm Shipping.
Capitalising on the solid dry cargo experience of Helm Shipping’s David Harvey and Greg Williams, the company will market the pool and offer advice to the pool management.
Newport Shipping UK LLP is a ship operator and ship-management company, registered and headquartered in London, UK and provides a complete and comprehensive range of commercial and technical ship management services both for its own fleet and third party owners of dry cargo, tanker and chemical tanker tonnage.
Its commercial service covers all aspects of ship management including chartering & operations, accounting, research & consulting, and demurrage & claims. A full range of technical ship management services are provided through Newport Shipping’s wholly-owned subsidiary Ecoships, based in Istanbul, Turkey.
The company’s senior management team has extensive shipowning, ship broking and finance industry experience having spent decades in leading shipping hubs London, Oslo, Istanbul, Zurich, New York, Singapore, and Hong Kong.
Since it started operations just over two years ago, the company has grown exponentially. The group now has more than 75 employees on the payroll and further expansion is on the horizon.