Ship Valuation LinkedIn Group Launched


I have started a LinkedIn group on ship valuation. The main aim is to gather discussion and debate on methods for articles I am writing in the Baltic Exchange magazine and the new-look Lloyd’s List Containerisation International.

Before getting into discussions of the merits of the different methods of valuing ships, I think we should try to work out how many models there are. Below is a list of models to be discussed;

  1. Last Done (mark-to-market) method.
  2. Income model (at the discussion stage we will need to break this down by different models)
  3. Algorithm model (like VesselsValue.com)
  4. Replacement cost.
  5. Scrap value.

Can anyone add to the general list of models?

Where are you now?


Uncertainty still pervades the transport industry, especially shipping, according to the latest results of the latest Norton Rose “The Way Ahead” transport survey,  sub-titled “Where are You Now?”.

Norton Rose had great foresight in conducting its “The Way Ahead” Transport survey for the first time in 2009. It was less than a year after the BDI crashed in October 2008, and no one knew what was happening. Was this a short term crisis or something deeper? Norton Rose decided to find out what we thought. The survey is now an established barometer of the aviation, rail and shipping sentiment. The unveiling of the results of the latest surveyis also a pleasant social event, held at the Norton Rose offices overlooking the Thames and Tower Bridge, and hosted by the head of transport, Harry Theochari.

Harry Theochari

The fourth edition of the survey was conducted between November 2012 and January 2013. There are just over a thousand replies, split equally among the aviation, rail and shipping folk taking part. The replies come from two groups of people, “participants” are those directly involved, such as shipowners. The “participants” group makes up 72%. The remainder are the “commentators” supporting the industry such as lawyers and journalists.

To download a full version of this report follow this link  (http://goo.gl/bTFnb) to download your own copy of the Norton Rose “The Way Ahead” Transport Survey. Below is a summary of the shipping results.

Shipping Summary

  • Since 2010, 58% of respondents have made changes to the market segments in which theyoperate, the range of products or services they offer, or their geographical focus.
  • Among those respondents who had made changes to their business, 51% of the shipping respondents had planned to enter one or more new market segments.
  • Between 2010 and 2012, 43% of the shipping respondents reported a rise in their turnover, with 34% reporting a reduction. 48% of respondents had seen an increase in their fixed costs.
  • Between 2010 and 2012, 32% of shipping respondents had increased their workforce and 45% had seen no change; 33% of respondents had seen an increase in the number of assets employed and 30% had seen an increase in the capacity of their assets employed.
  • Increased financial constraint was highlighted as one of the most significant changes to their business between 2010 and 2012 by 40% of the shipping respondents. Overcapacity of supply was also highlighted by shipping respondents.
  • London was selected as the financial centre best able to meet their needs by 40% of shipping respondents, with New York and Singapore joint second.
  • 36% of shipping respondents are using or considering new sources of finance, and structured finance was most favoured (26%), new private equity (23%), and export credit (20%).
  • More efficient fuel consumption is seen as the key development focus (69%) for shipping respondents.
  • 67% of shipping respondents have no planned / possible order.

Sun, Sea, and Shipping


The latest addition to my shipping calendar is the Monaco Shipping Event, which is a two-day golf and sailing tournament. It fits neatly between Nor-Shipping in Oslo and Marine Money Week in New York, and sounds like a fabulous shipping social event.

Here’s how I imagine the two days would be like. The sun part is the golf tournament, a couple of rounds at the Monaco Golf Club. Followed by a late night in the bars of Monaco. The next day is sea; winch monkey on some shipowner’s racing yacht at the Monaco Yacht Club. Later on is the shipping bit; listening to a few speeches after dinner and clapping the prize-giving, before the inevitable all-nighter in the Casino of Monte Carlo. Sounds like great fun.

Short Sea Shipping Solution


In researching the shipping conference calendar I came across the “Short Sea 13 European Conference” . Having lived in Falmouth and Plymouth I have always had an affinity with short sea shipping, as these are the ships you see every day. But once working in London the deep sea took over. Now that more and more of the commercial side of deep sea shipping is moving to the Far East, maybe it is time to look closer to home and the UK short sea scene.

The person to speak to is Peter Baker, of PRB Associates. Mr Baker is based in Grimsby, which to Londoners is scarily a long way “Up North”. It is a part of the major Humber ports hub for North Sea ferries. Indeed, having worked for a terminal and ferry operator in Immingham, Mr Baker set up his own consultancy business in 1998. Today, PRB Associates is still closely involved in research and analysis on short sea “unit load” activities.

The term “unit load” is used to differentiate from the homogeneous bulk mode. Mr Baker has produced a cunning methodology that harmonises the complex capacity mix on short sea ferries of lane metre, deck height space and container capacity into a transparent trailer, or feu equivalent. As far as I am aware PRB Associates is the only company producing an annual survey of the UK short sea scene, and to my mind the methodology is an elegant solution to the vexing issue of ferry capacity.

Peter Baker Pic

“I have tried to express capacity in consistent terms that are relevant to the market, no matter the type of ferry, or if trailers are accompanied or unaccompanied.” said Mr Baker. The annual capacity report is a valuable tool for ferry operators and ports. Indeed, I wish I had been aware of the report when I was working in the bank. With so little information available the banks rely on the information the short sea ferry owners supply, but have no third party report to collaborate or mitigate the information.

Are other regional reports available? “I produce an annual Irish Capacity Report and have produced a report on Baltic ferry and container service capacity for a conference in the Baltic” said Mr Baker, and could do so again if asked. You can catch up with Mr Baker in Paris next week at the “Short Sea 13 European Conference” or direct through the PRB Associates website.

How Active are LinkedIn Shipping Groups?


I assume we are all on the LinkedIn network to promote ourselves and / or our companies. By promoting ourselves, I mean looking for a job. Therefore the worth of belonging to a network group is in the number of jobs posted. If you are on LinkedIn to market your company or services then you need to belong to network groups that have active discussions and comments. This is also true for those who use LinkedIn as “how do I…” information exchange.

Thanks to Vijay Hiranandani (http://goo.gl/pMCkJ) I now have another 15 shipping-related LinkedIn groups to consider. I have gone through my expanded list of 54 shipping-related LinkedIn groups and ranked them by jobs advertised last week and the number of discussion in the last week.

LinkedIn Groups ranked by No of Jobs

In the number of jobs advertised there are no real surprises in that the group with the largest number of members also has the most jobs posted. My feeling is that the posting of jobs is going to aggregate toward the larger groups.

LinkedIn Groups ranked by No of Discussions

On the discussion side, the picture is a little different. Some of the groups are very active for their size. The “SeaShip Southeast Asia Maritime & Offshore Network” group only has 613 members but had 28 new discussions last week. I have also included the number of comments, which shows if the group membership is reactive.

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