Greek shipowners are now fully abstaining from ordering new vessels. Last month not a single order was placed by Greek shippers with international shipyards, a first since early 2009, when the global maritime trade experienced its worst ever crisis.
Data compiled by Golden Destiny shipbrokers also showed that only two vessels were ordered in February. This compares with 30 vessels of various types ordered in March last year.
The current picture of abstention from purchases is attributed to shipowners’ lack of confidence in the chartering markets’ recovery prospects, particularly when it comes to dry-bulkers and containers. Furthermore, those who have invested in tankers in recent months are now hearing there may also be a risk of capacity oversupply in that domain too, leading them to refrain from any new purchases before the outlook becomes clearer, especially with regard to the future demand for oil.
Many shipping companies are now on the defensive, attempting to contain losses and expenditure. The most recent visible example was London-listed Goldenport Holdings, owned by the Dragnis family, which last Friday consented to the sale of six ships to other companies held by the same family, with all of the revenues being directed toward banks for debt payments.
Those who are investing money in purchasing ships these days are opting for used vessels, mainly dry-bulkers, whose prices are at the lowest point of the last few decades.