Seaspan: Container industry æquite relaxedÆ
Gerry Wang, chief executive officer of Seaspan, said the outlook for the container shipping industry for the remainder of this year and first quarter of 2011 is positive.
“Most likely it will be better than anticipated,' he said. 'I was in China just last week and I spent some time with the leading customers there. The situation right now is actually better than anticipated, certainly better than Q4 last year.'
Wang made his comments in a telephone call with analysts to discuss Seaspan’s third quarter results. The company had a loss of $71 million in the period ending Sept. 30, compared to a loss of $66 million in the same 2009 period. Revenues climbed to $111 million, compared to $74 million as the size of the company’s fleet grew.
Seaspan now owns 55 containerships, including two delivered in October, compared to 42 at the beginning of the year. The company charters the ships to liner companies, such as China Shipping, Hapag-Lloyd, Maersk, COSCO, MOL, and CSAV.
“The general sentiment is Q4 is seasonally a slow season, but the volume is better than what they anticipated. They were prepared for a big correction after the Chinese October Golden Week holidays, but volume has actually recovered better than they thought,” Wang said, reporting on his recent meetings with customers.
“The freight rates have come down a little bit, which is seasonal, but maintained at a pretty decent rate. They are very happy, to be honest. And they are cautiously optimistic about next year. They think the volume will continue to move up at 3 percent to 5 percent.
“So they think, and we agree, next year will be going through a moderation, which means it won’t be as good as 2010, which is a record year, but it’s still very good compared with '09, '08. For 2012, the same picture holds,' he said.
“For 2013, we’re seeing a little bit different picture, which basically is related to the deliveries of newbuildings, which will have been all completed. So, 2013 will be, generally speaking, a brighter year if our assumptions are proven to be correct. So, generally speaking, the industry is quite relaxed at this point in time.”
Wang also said that while there is still a shortage of containers, it's not as severe as it was in the first half of this year.
Sai Chu, the company’s chief financial officer, said the company is in talks with a shipyard building a series of 13,000 TEU ships to be chartered by Seaspan to COSCO to see if the delivery times could moved up. The ships are now slated for delivery in 2012. ' Chris Dupin