Maersk Line pushes back delivery of new boxships to improve cashflow


DANISH shipping giant Maersk Line is to defer delivery of nine newbuild 14,000 TEU 'utility' ships with the last vessel to be received at the end of 2018, instead of at the end of this year, The Loadstar reported.

At the parent group AP Moller-Maersk (APMM) 2016 results presentation last week, CFO Jakob Stausholm said: "We have managed to delay delivery at no cost, and operationally it actually fits us quite okay."

The shipping company said it does not need the ships as it is able to charter vessels of this size easily and cheaply in the current depressed market, and has recently taken on long-term charter of six former Hanjin-operated 13,100 TEU vessels at a fraction of the daily hire rate the South Korean carrier paid.

It was also reported that 2M partner MSC had chartered three more 13,100 TEU ships previously operated by Hanjin.

After reporting a group net loss of US$1.9 billion for 2016, APMM is under pressure from shareholders - who are seeing their dividend halved - to reign back on capital expenditure.

Pierre Danet, CFO of Maersk Line, said the 2016 loss of US$376 million by the carrier was "due to a 19 per cent decline in freight rates. The loss is clearly unsatisfactory".

"The decision [to delay delivery of the ships] will have a positive effect on Maersk Line's cashflow," the shipping line said in a statement.

Source: Schednet

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