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24 April 2024 - Year XXVIII
Independent journal on economy and transport policy
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FORUM of Shipping
and Logistics



The Ro-Ro market in 2002


Is the ro-ro concept only dedicated to extremes?
 
Future race to gigantism?
Is the ro-ro concept only dedicated to extremes?

The niches where the general ro-ro concept is likely to remain and be developed are definitely short-sea trade routes with an increasing need for fast tonnage and deep-sea trade with rolling cargoes only. There seems to be very little future for intermediate distance routes where ro-ro ships actually load combinations of rolling and containerised cargoes, because of poor financial returns. The interaction between the container and the 'roll-on / roll-off' concepts on main routes often resulted in ro-ro tonnage being unable to compete against the operationally cheaper containerships. This trend is unlikely to reverse. Wilhelmsen's decision to convert their four super carrier designed initially to carry around 2,500 teu into vessels loading only rolling cargo is a strong example of the limits between flexibility and economy. To make economic sense on long haul routes, vessels have to be specialised, large and fast like the new generation of PCTC. South America and West Africa are the only significant areas served by medium-size units plying intermediate distance routes and loading mixed cargoes. We feel that there is a clear need of rationalisation there, and few of the existing operators have really yet taken concrete steps towards such a change. The economical crisis in South America in 2002 has substantially reduced import volumes, and as a consequence could possibly, in the medium term, further accelerate this rationalisation process on lines serving the southern hemisphere from North Europe and the Mediterranean.

The ro-ro fleet remains quite old and this appears clearly in the graph page #. In terms of number of units, tonnage of 25 years old and over represents 17 % of the total ro-ro fleet. The latter focuses on tonnage of less than 15,000 dwt which, for statistical purposes, we have arbitrarily taken as a benchmark limit of tonnage deployed on short-sea trade.
 


 

Most of the ships that are today 25 years old or more, will be scrapped in the short / medium term and scrapping activity for large units in particular has increased in 2002. Based on the existing figures and a reasonable scrapping ratio, we expect the average age of the fleet to be circa 18 years by 2005, and circa 15 years old by 2010. Over the past few years, there has been an interesting matching process between tonnage ordered, tonnage scrapped, and tonnage delivered. Considering the prospects of an unavoidable rise in scrapping activity, and the limited number of ships ordered since 2001 the market could in theory be characterized by a shortage of tonnage by 2005. But, bearing in mind that the ro-ro market is a very small segment, our view is however that there will be no sudden change in the balance of available tonnage, but rather a tendency for operators to continue ordering ships fitting their needs, further reducing the volume of the time charter activity.

The graph of forecast for renewal of the fleet has been made observing that:

  • Average capacity of 25 year old tonnage is about 1,200 lane metres,

  • Average capacity of recently delivered ships is about 2,500 lane metres,


  • And on assumptions that :

  • Ro-ro units deployed in deep-sea trade are likely to be replaced by PCTC and containerships. Benchmark size for deep-sea traders was set here at 15,000 dwt and above, whereby this projection focuses on tonnage of less than 15,000 dwt.

  • Cargoes carried today by independent shipowners on the oldest units will be split between containerships and tonnage deployed by well established short-sea trade operators, once the oldest units are scrapped.

  • Increased speed of new vessels will result in larger volumes shipped on given routes.

Based on the above and in order to build such a prediction we have applied a renewal ratio of 3 to 1 between vessels to be scrapped and those to be delivered for replacement.
 


 

When analysing the type of tonnage ordered by tramp owners and operators in the last 7 years, the clear tendency has been to order larger units (2,400 / 3,000 lane metres), whilst medium-size ships dedicated to the tramp market (1,500 / 2,000 lane metres) seem to have been somehow 'forgotten'. We feel that the next developments to come will call for tonnage in the 1,500 / 2,000 lane metres segment, built with rather high specs and flexibility in terms of cargo configuration (hoistable cardecks, good manoeuvrability) and speed of 20 knots and over.

Once again, the charter market activity has been predominant in North Continent and Mediterranean Sea areas. An important proportion of the chartered tonnage replaced by own tonnage lead the main operators to much less activity on the chartering side, whilst a good proportion of available ships was fixed for military movements, as observed already over the past few years. Governmental organisations are now more acquainted with the use and benefits of ro-ro tonnage. Most of these old units released from their time charter commitments were actually sold to either end-users or mainly Greek tramp owners. Whilst trade in the Baltic Sea sustained good chartering activity at the beginning of the year, the Spanish and Italian markets could prove to become new grounds for further developments, with local operators investing in second-hand tonnage. No tramp shipowner dared however to bet massively on buying second-hand tonnage to play the market on a speculative basis, and this is certainly a wise decision.

As a consequence of orders placed during the past few years, the average age of tonnage owned by the main operators has been lowered substantially and the ratio of chartered tonnage in their global operated fleet has also been reduced. On the other hand, very few tramp owners are able to offer today modern tonnage for the charter market, but they will definitely be the ones to whom the operators will go when their development will call for extra capacity. Short-sea trade is in our opinion the real window for future development and will lead to an upturn of the chartering activity.
  


 

Given the incentive subsidies dedicated to the Marco Polo programme that the EU is due to support and the increasing demand of tonnage from military organisations, the market could rebound in the coming year. The age profile of the fleet is also an element on which we expect a market upturn due to a probable tonnage scarcity during 2003 and 2004 for good quality ships. There are numerous projects to open new services, in particular those to fight road congestion and the success of new routes will be one of the major catalysts for expansion of the fleet in the longer run. The longer distance the 'sea highways' will cover, the more standard unaccompanied trailer ships will be needed.

Out of 25 pure ro-ro ships on order by end 2002 (leaving out PCTC and large ro-pax) only 6 are due to join the tramp market : three from Stena, two from AWSR and one from Bogazzi (sistership to the Stena SEC built), all ranging from 2,600 to 3,000 lane metres. This clearly highlights how narrow the market can be when it comes to availability of modern tonnage for the charter market as seen from a charterer's point of view. The drawback for tramp shipowners is that they have a very limited number of serious players in front of them.

The economic downturn affecting the European economies in 2002 inevitably impacted the volumes of ro-ro cargo, and due to the delivery of new vessels, the charter market has become quite depressed during the whole year 2002 to the extent that a number of large newly delivered units could hardly find employment. The balance is however fragile and its sensibility extreme in one direction or the other. Without any doubt, there will still be a need for ro-ro tonnage in the future and some segments of the market will need to see rejuvenation of the fleet by means of further orders. In view of the competitive prices at which tonnage can be built in China in particular, it is quite likely that this country will provide a good proportion of the ro-ro fleet in the coming years. Some newly established operators have opted for an interesting alternative, buying good quality ships likely to have another 5 to 8 years of life. The bet is quite interesting as they will find themselves in some occasions fighting the majors with ships purchased at low prices and operated at low costs. In the container sector, Mediterranean Shipping Company has proven that this option can generate success stories.
 

Future Race to gigantism?

Similarly to the container market, there seems to be thoughts in the market of building larger and larger units. Projects exist to order trailer carriers with a capacity in excess of 6,000 lane metres (about 3 times larger than the largest ships deployed in dedicated trailer trades some 8 years ago). Of course the larger the ships are, the greater the economies of scale can be achieved. However one should always bear in mind that to make these economies of scale, vessels have concretely to attract enough cargo to be loaded at a satisfactory level. Furthermore, on many trade routes, the speed of loading and discharging operations can significantly affect transit-times that are amongst key performance factors of the ro-ro concept, and gigantism could eventually be an enemy to these.

Saying this, one should consider these challenges as really serious and not those of dreamers. Despite intentions to increase vessels' size, the exercise of deploying very large ro-ros on short-sea trades, will probably be limited due to ports restrictions. However, long term works to improve port infrastructures and harbours will run in parallel to this trend with a view to match ship specifications and shore facilities.
 

Cetam Massilia

STENA FORETELLER
ro-ro - 12,300 dwat,  3000 lm, 22 knots.
Delivered from Dalian shipyard in 2002 and chartered to CETAM

 

 



Shipping and Shipbuilding Markets in 2002

I N D E X

›››File
FROM THE HOME PAGE
The MSC Group presents an offer to buy the Gram Car Carriers, the world's third largest carrier in the PCTC segment
The MSC Group presents an offer to buy the Gram Car Carriers, the world's third largest carrier in the PCTC segment
Oslo
The proposal, worth about 653 million euros, was accepted by the Board of the Norwegian company and its main shareholders.
At the construction site Fincantieri in Marghera the varo of the Norwegian cruise ship Norwegian Aqua
At the construction site Fincantieri in Marghera the launch of the cruise ship Norwegian Aqua
Trieste / Miami
It is 322 meters long and has a gross tonnage of 156,300 tons
Paolo Guidi has been named general manager of CMA CGM Italy
Paolo Guidi has been named general manager of CMA CGM Italy
Marseille
The first May will take over in Romain Vigneaux
HHLA will acquire 51% of the capital of Austrian intermodal transport company Roland Spedition
HHLA will acquire 51% of the capital of Austrian intermodal transport company Roland Spedition
Hamburg
Its network connects ports in Hamburg, Antwerp, Bremerhaven, Koper, Rotterdam and Trieste.
Kuehne + Nagel's downward trend in economic performance continues.
Kuehne + Nagel's downward trend in economic performance continues.
Schindellegi
In growth the handling of volumes of sea and air shipments
ESPO points out issues to be addressed in order to enable European ports to face the next challenges
Brussels
Memorandum in view of the European elections in June
The Port of Barcelona has established new historical records of monthly and quarterly container traffic
The Port of Barcelona has established new historical records of monthly and quarterly container traffic
Barcelona
As of March 2024, 348mila teu (+ 34.3%) were handled, of which 154mila in transshipment (+ 63.9%) and 194mila in import-export (+ 17.4%)
Fincantieri has delivered the new cruise ship Queen Anne to Cunard
Monfalcone
Concordate with Princess Cruises the postponement of the delivery of the Star Princess
Le Aziende informano
Protocollo d'intesa tra l'Autorità di Sistema Portuale del Mare di Sicilia Occidentale e l'Escola Europea di Intermodal Transport
International shipping associations call for help at U.N. to protect shipping
London
Solicited a greater military presence, missions and patrols. The world-they write in a letter to Guterres-would be outraged if four airliners were seized.
In February, shipping traffic in the Suez Canal declined by -42.8% percent.
In February, shipping traffic in the Suez Canal declined by -42.8% percent.
The Cairo
Net tonnage of the naviglio down -59.8% percent. Drastic reduction of -53% of the value of transit fees
The World Shipping Council points to the EU the way to support the economy and trade
In Norway, the construction of the world's two largest hydrogen-powered ferries
In Norway, the construction of the world's two largest hydrogen-powered ferries
Brønnøysund / Gursken
Order of Torghatten company at the shipyard Myklebust
The freight traffic in the port of Rotterdam in the first quarter was down by -1.4% percent.  Increase of containers
The freight traffic in the port of Rotterdam in the first quarter was down by -1.4% percent. Increase of containers
Rotterdam
Strong increase (+ 29.0%) of feeder ships departing from the Dutch stopover to the Mediterranean ports
In the first three months of 2024, freight traffic in Russian ports fell by -3.3% percent.
St. Petersburg
Drastic reduction of passenger traffic in the Crimean port scans
In the first three months of 2024, freight traffic in Russian ports fell by -3.3% percent.
Tytgat (SEA Europe) : A European maritime industrial strategy is urgently needed
Brussels
Round table with representatives of the institutions of the European Union
Joe Kramek will be the next president and CEO of the World Shipping Council
Joe Kramek will be the next president and CEO of the World Shipping Council
Washington / Brussels/London / Singapore
He will retire at the end of July in Butler when the latter is retiring.
In the first quarter of this year the traffic of goods in the port of Antwerp-Zeebrugge grew by 2.4%
In the first quarter of this year the traffic of goods in the port of Antwerp-Zeebrugge grew by 2.4%
Anverse
On the increase the containers. Decrease in other loads. Belgian, Dutch and German ports urge European governments to ensure that industries remain in Europe
Partnership of HD Hyundai Heavy Industries and Anduril Industries in the Field of Maritime Defense
Orange County / Seoul
Envisage the design, development and production of new types of autonomous naval systems
d' Friend International Shipping orders two new tankers LR1
Luxembourg
Commits to China's shipyard Jiangsu New Yangzi Shipbuilding Co.
Global Infrastructure Partners waives to acquire 49% percent of Malaysian MMC Port Holdings
New York
CMA CGM Air Cargo announces its first transpacific line
Marseille
Three aircraft will be taken over between summer and early next year.
In 2023 new annual historical record of maritime traffic in the Stories of Malacca and Singapore
In 2023 new annual historical record of maritime traffic in the Stories of Malacca and Singapore
Port Klang
The previous maximum peak had been reached in 2018
HMM announces the nearly doubling of fleet capacity by 2030
Seoul
Expected 63% increments of the volumes transportable from container carriers and 95% in the bulk carrier sector
In the first quarter of 2024, the Port of Singapore handled ten million containers (+ 10.7%)
In the first quarter of 2024, the Port of Singapore handled ten million containers (+ 10.7%)
Singapore
The overall traffic in goods increased by 7.6%
Iran has given way to the attack on Israel with the seizure of the container ship. MSC Aries
London / Manila
Le Aziende informano
ABB fornirà la sua soluzione per il Cold - Ironing nel Porto Internazionale di Portsmouth
The construction of the new Venetian container terminal in Porto Marghera is being carried out.
The construction of the new Venetian container terminal in Porto Marghera is being carried out.
Venice
It will be able to accommodate Panamax vessels and will have an annual traffic capacity of one million teu
The French Senate has approved a bill to limit the right to strike in transport
The French Senate has approved a bill to limit the right to strike in transport
Last year container traffic in Malta decreased by -11.4%
Last year container traffic in Malta decreased by -11.4%
The Valletta
Crucierists in growth of 59.1%
Approved by the Transport Commission of the Spanish Congress a proposal to improve the competitiveness of the REC Ship Register
Madrid
Applause from ANAVE. The number of national flag merchant ships has fallen to the all-time low
Pirate attacks on ships have been growing.
Pirate attacks on ships have been growing.
London
Recrudescence of Somali piracy
Assshipowners, well the decree that delegates security checks to recognized bodies
Rome
Messina : a concrete step forward in the optics of an ever greater competitiveness of the Italian flag
Maritime traffic in the Panama Canal is expected to gradually normalize from here to 2025
Balboa
The start of the rainy season, expected at the end of the month, is expected to lift the number of ships transits from 27 to 36.
The quarterly economic performance of DSV is still declining
Hedehusene
In the first quarter of this year, the value of net profit decreased by -27.2%
US imports of dangerous goods have been penalized during the pandemic.
Washington
Survey by the Government Accountability Office
In 2023 CEPIM-Parma's Interport recorded a growth of 6.8% of the value of production
Bianconese of Fontevivo
Net profit di788mila euro (+ 223.2%)
In the first quarter of 2024, UPS Group revenues fell by -5.3%
Atlanta
Net profit down -41.3%
Grendi has perfected the purchase of the ship Wedellsborg
Milan
It will be renamed with the name of "Grenching Futura"
Grimaldi consolidates its presence in China with new headquarters in Shanghai
Naples / Shanghai
Inaugurates the offices of the Grimaldi Shipping Agency Shanghai
Approved the 2023 consuntive budget of the Western Ligure Sea AdSP
Genoa
The new endowment of the institution's organic plant provides for 50 hires, including three managerial positions
First plant for the distribution of LNG and GNC to vehicles in the port of La Spezia
The Spezia
It has been installed in Stagnoni locations
Agreement between MSC, MSC Foundation and Mercy Ships for the construction of a new hospital ship
Geneva / Lindale
Tomorrow in Livorno a conference on the history of the city port
Livorno
It will be talked about architecture, trade and politics between the XVI and the twentieth century
Agreement Assshipowners-ITS Academy G. Caboto for training in the maritime, port and logistics sectors
Rome
SAILING LIST
Visual Sailing List
Departure ports
Arrival ports by:
- alphabetical order
- country
- geographical areas
In the first quarter of 2024, the port of Algeciras handled 1.2 million containers (+ 8.1%)
Algeciras
The traffic in overall goods increased by 3.3%
In the first three months of this year in Valencia, container port traffic grew by 12.1% percent.
Valencia
In March, the increase was 15.7% percent.
The Spezia and Carrara try to break down the bell towers and solicit cooperation at the ports of Genoa and Savona
The Spezia
Switzerland and Switzerland cut trade between Italy and Switzerland.
Bern
In the first three months of the 2024 decline in Swiss exports. Stable imports
Port of Naples, striking of the fast ferry Island of Procida against a quay
Naples
About thirty minor injuries among passengers
Summoned for April 23 a meeting at MIT on former TCT port workers
Taranto
The unions had requested clarification on the future of the 330 members of the Taranto Port Workers Agency.
The outer Levant dock of the Arbatax port has returned fully operational
Cagliari
In August 2020 he had been shouted by the ferry "Bithia"
The Port of Los Angeles closed the first quarter with a 29.6% percent growth in container traffic
Los Angeles
Expected a continuation of the positive trend
Stable the value of ABB's revenues in the first quarter
Zurich
The new orders are down -5.0% percent. At the end of July Rosengren will leave the CEO position in Wierod
The crisis of the Cooperative Sole Workers of Porto Flavio Gioia officialized at institutions and trade unions
Salerno
USB Mare and Porti, what's going on in the port of Salerno is the result of pressure from shipowners
Euronav sells its own ship management company to Anglo-Eastern
Antwerp / Hong Kong
Manages the fleet of tanker ships of the Antwerp company
Genoa Shipbuilding Industries has acquired a submersible barge of the cargo capacity of 14,000 tonnes
Genoa
It can also be employed as a floating basin for the varo of artifacts up to 9,800 tons
Venice Cold Stores & Logistics obtains the qualification of tax warehouse for wines and sparkling
Venice
Extension of the services offered to companies in the wine sector
Gasparate urges to exempt property of interports from payment of the Imu
Nola
President of the Union Interports Reunited warned that with the PNRR construction sites the railway intermodality is at risk
Hapag-Lloyd plans future investments to expand business in the terminal and intermode sectors
Hamburg
Among the markets, the company focuses attention on Africa, India, Southeast Asia and the Pacific
Set up a consortium to decarbonize transport on the northern Pacific route
Vancouver
It is formed by nine companies and entities and is open to other partners
In the first quarter of this year, container traffic in the port of Long Beach increased by 16.4%
Long Beach
In March, the increase was 8.3% percent.
Delivery of the work of consolidation of the foranea dam of the port of Catania
Catania
Procurement of the value of 75 million euros
PORTS
Italian Ports:
Ancona Genoa Ravenna
Augusta Gioia Tauro Salerno
Bari La Spezia Savona
Brindisi Leghorn Taranto
Cagliari Naples Trapani
Carrara Palermo Trieste
Civitavecchia Piombino Venice
Italian Interports: list World Ports: map
DATABASE
ShipownersShipbuilding and Shiprepairing Yards
ForwardersShip Suppliers
Shipping AgentsTruckers
MEETINGS
Tomorrow in Livorno a conference on the history of the city port
Livorno
It will be talked about architecture, trade and politics between the XVI and the twentieth century
On April 11, the sixth edition of the "Italian Port Days" will begin.
Rome
Also this year the project has been divided into two sessions : the first in the spring and the second from September 20 to October 20
››› Meetings File
PRESS REVIEW
Iran says MSC Aries vessel seized for 'violating maritime laws'
(Reuters)
Le transport maritime national navigue à vue
(Aujourd'hui Le Maroc)
››› Press Review File
FORUM of Shipping
and Logistics
Relazione del presidente Mario Mattioli
Roma, 27 ottobre 2023
››› File
Plan to improve in Genoa and Savona the rail links with cruise terminals and airport
Genoa
It was presented today in the Ligurian capital
From 10 to May 12 at Spezia will be held "DePortibus-The festival of ports that connect the world"
The Spezia
The programme provides for technical events and cultural proposals
Three new STS cranes have arrived in the Kenyan port of Lamu.
Mombasa
They will be able to work on container ships of the capacity of over 18mila teu
One hundred new IVECO trucks powered by HVO in the Smet fleet
Turin
They will be taken over in the course of this year
In the first three months of this year, goods transported by rail between China and Europe increased by 10% percent.
Beijing
Operated 4,541 trains (+ 9%)
In the first quarter of 2024, container traffic in the port of Hong Kong fell by -2.3%
Hong Kong
In March, the decline was -10.6% percent.
The regasification terminal FSRU Toscana left Livorno direct to Genoa
Livorno
In the Ligurian scalp and then in Marseille maintenance interventions will be carried out
Confirmed to Tugchiers Meeting Port of Genoa the granting of trailer services in the port of Genoa
Genoa
Planned investment of 35 million euros to renovate fleet
In the first quarter of 2024, OOIL revenues decreased by -9.0%
Hong Kong
Containers carried by the OOCL fleet increased by 3.4%
Mattioli (Federation of the Sea) relaunches the propulsive role of maritime clusters
Rome
Today, the National Sea Day and the marinara culture are celebrated
In the first quarter of 2024, the revenues of Yang Ming and WHL grew by 18.5% and 8.1%
Keelung / Taipei
In March the increments were equal to 20.3% and 8.6%
In 2023 the freight traffic handled by the State Railways Group fell by -2.0%
Rome
The Logistics Pole posted a net loss of -80 million euros, up 63 million euros.
Port of Genoa, inaugurated new rooms of Stella Maris at Maritime stations
Genoa
They are intended for the welfare and socialization of seafarers in transit in the Superba
Germany's Dachser has acquired the compatriate Brummer Logistik
Kempten
The company specializes in the logistics of perishable products
In the first quarter of 2024, Evergreen's revenues increased by 32.6% percent.
Taipei
In March, the increase was 36.5% percent.
Cooperation pact between the associations of the ports and ferry companies of Greece
The Piraeus
Among the activities, make sure that port benches are adequate for new naval technologies
In 2023 the traffic in goods at ports in Lazio fell by -5.7% percent. Record of cruises
Cyvitavecchia
Passenger of line services growing by 10.0%
RINA will collaborate on the sustainable development of ports and shipping of Indonesia
Genoa
Contract with the World Bank
In Udine the Officine Rotable Maintenance of FVG Rail has been equipped with a lawn back in fossa
Procedure
Interporto Padova's assembly to merge for incorporation of the Zip Consortium
Padova
Capital increase of more than 7.8 million split between Municipality, Province, and Chamber of Commerce
Turkish Arkas orders four container ships from 4,300 teu to Guangzhou Wenchong Shipyard
Izmir
On the way an investment of 240 million
Deutsche Bahn would have solicited a group of potential bidders to submit proposals to acquire DB Schenker
New York
The invitation addressed, among others, to DSV, Maersk and MSC
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