Wallenius Wilhelmsen laying up ships
Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics said it has begun to lay up vessels in the face of a sharp downturn in automobile transportation.
The company said the car industry has been severely impacted by the global recession and “automotive volumes shipped have by now decreased 30 to 40 percent compared to the same time last year.” It added that volumes are down for high and heavy vehicles and equipment and other non-containerized cargo as well, “but the picture here is much more mixed between regions and industries.”
Arild Iversen, chief executive officer of Wallenius Wilhelmsen, said “like our customers, we have to adjust our capacity. Since we do not predict any significant upturn in the market until 2010, we will start to put vessels in cold layup. We are keeping a very close eye on market developments and will be adjusting our capacity in response to this. With our current planning, we expect to have 15-20 percent of our capacity in layup during the year.”
Laying up the least efficient vessels will allow higher utilization of its remaining fleet and substantially reduce operating costs of the laid-up vessels, the company said.
The first vessel layups are under way at different locations in Europe and Asia, starting with two vessels in Lyngdal, Norway.
The company said it “will ensure that all laid-up vessels are kept in a safe, secure and economically efficient and environmentally sound manner.”