| Safety, Environment
Anyone in doubt of the importance of
committed ownership should just consider the different paths of A P
Møller and Bergesen.
CA market governed by economic cycles and structural changes
offers new competitive relations, challenges and opportunities to the
shipping communities in Northern Europe. Beyond the obvious importance
of the general operating conditions rendered by the politicians, more
appears to depend on the commercial drive and ambition within the communities.
will have noticed the ambitious progress of the German shipping industry,
despite the declared doom for container vessels two years ago. The fleet
has doubled in less than ten years, and the last year has seen a bustle
of ordering and buying product tankers, combined carriers or crude oil
tankers, in addition to a new boom in container vessel orders. To some
extent the acquisition of modern ships on T/Cs could be considered as
refinancing on behalf of the sellers who will continue in commercial
control, but the German owners have clearly whetted their appetite for
new sectors of shipping.
shipping has seen brisk progress, and Copenhagen has attracted commercial
and management functions for Norwegian, Swedish and Russian owners.
Although diminished in numbers, the large Danish owners appear to be
well situated in the commercial process of consolidation, headed by
Maersk and Torm.
has seen a revival in spirit and activity from its new tax system for
seafarers and ship operation, with a significant upturn of tonnage commitment
by the Swedish owners.
presents much of an opposite spectre under an industry-neutral policy
which has effectively abandoned any national ambition in the maritime
sector. No more than 55 per cent of the Norwegian-attributed tonnage
is in fact owned by bone-fide Norwegian companies. The viking spirit
appears to have run out at last, as Teekay has succeeded in picking
up the juiciest bits of the tanker activities, the Bergesen cousins
selling out their empire of a hundred ships, and cash-rich shipping
families are investing in property, biotech and fish-farming; not always
with success. The once-thriving Oslo community appears to be the most
shipping history is rolling on; the main thing is to focus on the customers,
and to achieve this, everything depends on the commercial organization
and the readiness to invest for the future. In other words, in commercial
vigour and ambition to develop and grow.
For better or worse, shipping is an entrepreneur-driven industry, and
anyone in doubt of the importance of committed owners should compare
the entrepreneurial vigour of the company formed by Arnold Peter Møller
in 1904 with the one by his one-time managing director Sig Bergesen
d y in 1935.
// Dag Bakka Jr - Editor
Back to SSG 16, 5 September
Latest update 3-10-2006 16:37
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