An Interview with Meadway shipping
Long term relations with Japanese Shipping Owners
Sharing the same business philosophy and mentality
Targeting to 50 vessels in time charter in Singapore.
Meadway Shipping (Head Office · Athens) was founded in 1988 as a traditional Greek Ship Owners and Managers who also became Operators in Singapore since 2011. As an operator, Meadway has fixed a considerable number of time charter vessels from Japanese Ship Owners. I sat down with Mr. Costas Delaportas, Managing Director, about the company’s current situation and prospects.
The Japan Maritime Daily (JMD): First of all, I would like to ask about the history of Medway Shipping.
Costas: The Company was founded by my father in 1988. It has a history of about 30 years. My father started from a small single decker of 5000 to 6000 tons, then promoted upsizing of the hull form and moved on to 20,000 tons, 30,000 tons, 50,000 tons, and 60,000 tons. Now we have up to 81,000 tons.
JMD: Ship ownership side, you do business with BBC transaction.
Costas: Currently we are party to two BB Charters for a 63,000 tons and a 38,000 tons vessel. Both BB Charters are contracted with reputable Japanese owners and backed by Japanese financial institutions. The vessels are building in Imabari Shipyard. These BB Charters, falling within the finance lease category, include a down payment amount during the construction of the vessels, the payment of a bareboat rate for a period varying from 5-10 years and a balloon payment in case that our Group elects to exercise the purchase option embedded to the BB Charters.
JMD: You focus on small and medium size bulkers.
Costas: Our own vessels are all Supramax, Ultramax and Kamsarmax. We do not own Capesize vessels because they are not suitable for our cargo bookings and COAs and the focus of our business (Ownership and Operations) is on the 28000 to 81000 dwt vessels where we believe we can bring the best performance.”
JMD: In 2011, Meadway shipping established Medway Shipping Singapore. What is its aim for?
Costas: At Athens headquarters, we are primarily engaged in Ownership and Ship Management. We thought we should as operators focus more intensely in the eastern market by having a physical presence in Singapore being a main hub for dry companies, brokers and finance. ”
JMD: In Singapore, Meadway has 39 vessels regularly.
Costas: Almost all vessels we control are time charter vessels from Japanese ship owners. Most of the fixtures have a period in excess of one to two years. We are also proud to announce that we just concluded our first n/b project long term time charter for 7 years with delivery in 2019. I would like to expand the fleet size to about 50 ships in the coming future.
JMD: How do you think about the prospects for dry market conditions in this year?
Costas: For the next few years, we are looking at the market very positively. In the shipping market, demand for cargo is strong and we can expect this demand to increase further. Dry market conditions are strong, so cargo demand absorbs ship over capacity.
JMD: What do you think about scrubbers?
Costas: There is no plan to install scrubbers on our ships so far. The technology is progressing rapidly and we do not feel the necessity of attaching the present technology right now.
JMD: Why do you expand to transactions with Japanese ship owners?
Costas: Because we have a good chemistry. We share the same idea of building up a trustful relationship and we have strong preference for Japanese built ships. We support mostly Japanese Owners and this is why the 90% of our current fleet is with Japanese Owners. We continue working closely together to expand our business relationships and increase the volume.
At this point, I am very glad to announce that Meadway is under a new and very important project for its activities. We are opening a new office in Dubai with 5 high-experienced brokers who will cover Persian Gulf, West coast of India and South Africa cargoes. The office is almost ready to start its operations.
From Hirofumi Yamamoto
THE JAPAN MARITIME DAILY
(THE NIHON KAIJI SHIMBUN)