Changing Tides: Global Shipping Is Setting Up For A Ferocious Bull Run – Seeking Alpha

Changing Tides: Global Shipping Is Setting Up For A Ferocious Bull Run – Seeking Alpha.


VesselsValue Does it Again!

I admit back when VesselsValue was launched I was one of the sceptics. How was a tiny ship-broker going to deliver a reliable and consistent service to rival that of the bigger brokers. But I, like many others, were looking through the wrong end of the telescope. It is not the broking side that is the driving force, it’s the technology and ability to manipulate algorithms. Today VesselsValue is a tool used by nearly 75% of the currently active banks, according to Paddy Stern, the Director of UK sales.

“Business Model Changer” is one way to describe the new VesselsValue product, which is launched today. VV@ ( is a mapping tool. So what, you say? That’s nothing new – there’s lots of AIS based ship tracking websites. But combined with ship specifications and values? With VV@ you can track ships, see if they are laden or in ballast, and see the ship specifications. There is full integration with the portfolios already created on VesselsValue. Still waiting for your broker to send you the latest position lists? Create your own. Want to know where you rivals ships are loading? These are the obvious uses.

What about bunker sales? You could track vessels calling at the bunkering anchorages in Singapore, then track their voyages. VV@ has the speed and consumption, and from this you could see when the vessels might be requiring the next stem.

The part that really excites me, is that this is clearly just the start of what can be done with the VV@ mapping tool. As VesselsValue apply their undoubted technical ability this map tool is going to develop functions we can only dream about. In my case I dream of mapping cargo demand using vessel movements, creating what-ifs and scenarios, which sounds like the confessions of a shipping geek. I think VV@ will make my dreams come true.

Sailors’ Society Wine Tasting Event at ING Bank, London.

Last Thursday ING Bank very kindly hosted a wine tasting on behalf of the Sailors’ Society. Founded in 1818, the Sailors’ Society is a not-for-profit Christian charity that provides relief and benefits in many ports around the world. Jan Webber, Director of Fundraising at the Sailors’ Society gave an example of two corresponding chaplains enabling an injured Ukrainian seaman to Skype his family back home from his hospital bed in Brazil. The Sailors’ Society is also currently recruiting teams to take part in the Three Peaks Challenge (email for details).

Stephen Fewster, the Global Head of Transportation Finance at ING was the host, and ING also provided the wine-expert and the butler service. First, we were greeted by Holly and Sophie from the Sailors Society and shown some of the wines from the cellar. The ING cellar is essentially that of Barings Bank, which ING bought for £1.00 and assumed all the debt brought about by Nick Leeson’s gambles on the forex market in 1995. Barings was the oldest private bank in the City, and was famous for its fine dining. Indeed, according to the butler, that was the basis of the bank. Clients were treated to wines that the bank had laid down years before, which were almost unobtainable anywhere else. We were shown some of the rare wines from the cellar, including a Margaux that would cost £15,000 in a restaurant. On the display table were several six-bottle cases of Petrus, which currently average around £1,000 per bottle at auction. According to the head butler, upon hearing of the bank’s collapse the chairman telephoned him with the instruction; “lock up the wine cellar and take the keys home with you. Guard them with your life”.

The wine tasting was of six different wines, three whites followed by three reds. The wine expert explained how the bulk of the information on French wine bottles labels can be misleading or just unnecessary. While it is interesting to know the “terrior” and on which bank of a particular river the grapes were grown, the most useful thing to know is who made the wine. This is a brilliant piece of advice – next time you drink a bottle of wine you really like – just remember name the wine-maker.

To the wines. Below is the list of wines we tried and the names of the wine-makers.


Rully La Chatalienne, Olivier Laflaive 2011 (£11.95 a bottle)

Pouilly Fume, Eric Louis 2011 (£13.99 a bottle)

Chassagne – Montracher, Les Chenevottes, Marc Morey 2007 (£35.00 a bottle)


Château Cadet, Cotes de Castillon, Louis Mitjavile 2008 (no longer available – if you see a bottle, buy it immediately)

Bourgogne Cyrot – Buthiau, Pinot-Noir, 2010 (£12.95)

Château Cissac, Haut-Medoc, Vialard 2009 (£9.58)

We were told to write down our opinions and then the wine-expert told us which ones were the more expensive. On the whites, I was the only one who preferred the Olivier Laflaive, even those this was the cheapest.

On the reds I was more in line with popular opinion. The Louis Mitjavile was the most favoured among the 40 or so people present. It had a longer finish than the other reds. It was also quite high in alcohol content. Although the wine-expert gave an opinion on prices, I have looked up the current prices on the internet. All the above prices are per bottle if you bough a case ex-VAT from Corney & Barrow wine merchants. I looked on several websites, and the 2008 vintage of Louis Mitjavile seems to have sold out, so if you see a bottle buy it immediately.

As well as hosting the event, I hear that ING donated £4,000 to the Sailors’ Society. So let’s raise a glass to ING.


New shipping bank offers finance to smaller owners

New shipping bank offers finance to smaller owners

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