Returning customers and a new client saw Gibdock prominent in the repair schedules of German ship managers in the first half of 2016, with sterling’s post Brexit depreciation also sharpening the Gibraltar yard’s competitive edge for the rest of the year.
Seven German-owned or operated vessels have been repaired at Gibdock so far this year, including general cargo ships, container carriers, a reefer ship and a bulk carrier. With the exception of a first job for Bernhard Schulte, all projects have involved returning customers.
“Winning every single repair project partly depends on the trading area of the vessel concerned, which is why our favourable location is critical for German owners,” said Richard Beards, Gibdock Managing Director. “However, our accuracy with quotations, quality of workmanship and on-schedule redelivery continue to bring German owners back to Gibdock, and attract high profile newcomers such as Bernhard Schulte.”
Residents of Gibraltar voted overwhelmingly for the United Kingdom to remain within the European Union, with 96% supporting ‘Remain’. Mr Beards emphasized that Gibraltar-based businesses, including Gibdock, have not seen any negative consequences after the UK’s decision to leave the EU. “In fact, so far it has only been positive,” he said. “The decline in the value of sterling has made the yard more competitive compared with most of our eurozone-based rivals,” he said.
Speaking in the run up to this year’s leading maritime industry event, SMM 2016, Hamburg, Mr Beards said that any reservations German interests may have held after the June 23 vote have been turned on their head. “For Gibdock, it has always been business as usual; the only real consequence of Brexit so far is that it is business as usual with a newly competitive edge,” he said. “We arrive at SMM with the news that Gibdock’s reliability and high standards on safety, the environment and quality workmanship are now more attractive on price.”
Projects of note for German owners in the first half of the year included an extensive ballast tank cleaning contract undertaken on the containership Las Palmas. The job highlighted the yard’s readiness to handle unusual tasks, involving working alongside contractors to dispose of contaminated ballast water in a cost effective manner.
“Our expectation is that we will be in a strong position in the final quarter of 2016, and will figure strongly in the plans of German owners consider their class renewal work as vessels come off charter,” Mr Beards concluded.
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