DUBAI : The Dubai-based Transworld Group (an Indian-owned family business in shipping) has expanded its fleet with the acquisition of four dry bulk ships in the last six months. The group, now, plans to double its fleet in the next 2-3 years. It owns Shreyas Shipping and Logistics (controlling interest), an Indian company with coastal operations using Indian flagged vessels for domestic sea trade. It also owns and operates Transworld Integrated Logistics Pvt Ltd in India, which is its global logistics division.
The total cost of the four newly acquired ships could be between $40 million and $60 million, said Mr. Ritesh S Ramakrishnan, Joint Managing Director of the Transworld Group, which owns and operates a diversified fleet of 25 vessels consisting of container, dry bulk and multipurpose carriers.
These four ships are part of the handy-size bulk carrier segment. They have been acquired from Japanese, Vietnamese and European owners and have since been deployed on world-wide trading routes, he told BusinessLine.
The company has tied up with European pool managers to deploy the ship on global trades albeit with a focus on the Atlantic basin. This is in line with the Transworld Group’s long-term strategy of becoming a significant player in the handy-size dry bulk segment
The vessels will ply between ports in Europe, Mediterranean, West Africa and South America with various cargoes such as grain, steel and fertilisers. In some cases, the ships will also carry salt and coal from the major exporting locations in Australia and Indonesia into China, he said.
When asked about the reasons behind choosing bulk carriers, Ramakrishnan said that although the Group is commonly recognised as a container feeder ship owner, the company had diversified into the dry bulk segment nearly ten years ago with the purchase of the first bulk carrier in 2012 built in China. This was soon followed up with taking deliveries of two more bulk carriers and our recent purchases are only a strengthening of the group’s presence in this sector.
“We have ambitious plans to double the fleet within the next 2-3 years and we are well on our way to achieving this goal,” he said.
On the market for bulk transport, Ramakrishnan said that given the trade dynamics in the current Covid-19 pandemic scenario, this segment is very adaptable to various forms of cargoes and hence constitutes the ‘workhorse’ of the dry bulk movements along global trade lanes. As such, the segment sees less volatility despite major shake ups in the global economy. Besides, with factories around the world coming back to normal production levels slowly and raw material stockpiles depleted, there is now a very good scope for a healthy commercial deployment for years to come, he said.
Source : The Hindu Business Line