Basil M Karatzas to speak at the Tugs, Towboats & Barges (TTB) Conference

image descriptionBasil M. Karatzas, Founder and CEO of Karatzas Marine Advisors & Co.

In a tough market, how can inland and coastal operators finance projects such as newbuilds needed when the costs of Sub M compliance make keeping older tonnage on the water increasingly expensive?

Among the speakers at Marine Log’s TTB – Tugs, Towboats & Barges event will be Basil M. Karatzas, founder and CEO of Karatzas Marine Advisors & Co., a shipping finance advisory and ship-brokerage firm based in New York City. His topic: “Finding access to capital for brown water Jones Act operations.”

Karatzas has diverse maritime industry expertise in the fields of shipping finance, port operations, charterers’ and husbandry agency, charter and ship brokerage, and vessel management and operations. In an advisory capacity, he has originated and executed multiple finance-oriented transactions in shipping such as sale & leaseback transactions, private placements for equity, mezz, debt and structured finance.

To be held at the Renaissance Mobile Riverview Plaza in Mobile, Ala., March 24 & 25, TTB will build on our previous TUGS & BARGES events but with expanded waterways industry coverage.

Check out the program and register to attend HERE

We are looking forward to seeing you in Mobile, Ala., at the end of March at the TTB Conference by Marine Log, and discussing not only current (and exciting) developments in the inland tug, towboats and barge in the “brown water” market, but also for coastal shipping, Jones Act ocean-going markets, offshore in the GOM, but also financing ideas and opportunities for making the best under the challenging market conditions!

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NOTICE: THIS BLOG UPDATES INFREQUENTLY; NEW POSTINGS APPEAR ON KARATZAS AUCTIONS – PLEASE FEEL TO FOLLOW US THERE!

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© 2013 – present Basil M Karatzas & Karatzas Marine Advisors & Co.  All Rights Reserved.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER:  Access to this blog signifies the reader’s irrevocable acceptance of this disclaimer. No part of this blog can be reproduced by any means and under any circumstances, whatsoever, in whole or in part, without proper attribution or the consent of the copyright and trademark holders of this website. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that information here within has been received from sources believed to be reliable and such information is believed to be accurate at the time of publishing, no warranties or assurances whatsoever are made in reference to accuracy or completeness of said information, and no liability whatsoever will be accepted for taking or failing to take any action upon any information contained in any part of this website.  Thank you for the consideration.

Port of Piraeus as a ‘Shipping Cluster’

A lot has been made of the growth of the Greek merchant fleet in the last couple of years. At a time when freight rates are anemic and shipping finance rather expensive, the world’s fleet growth has slowed down – and thankfully so. However, two merchant fleets stand out, those of Greece and of China – which they have keeping growing faster than the overall market and much faster than any other ‘national’ fleet. Some even would pointedly indicate that the German merchant fleet has shrank materially in the last few years as German banks became more aggressive unfolding ‘KG system’ vessels.

Just because the fleets of Greece (and China) grow, this does not mean that all respective shipowners in these two countries enjoy smooth sailing and are immune to the problems that shadow the international shipping industry, and Greek owners do not lose ships to bank and creditors, too; there are the individual tragedies and vessel arrests and divestments, but as a whole, the Greek fleet keeps growing.

What is that that make Greek shipping so resilient?

Definitely there is no clear and easy answer; more likely, a combination of factors are to be credited for the Greek shipping growth.

In a recent trip to Athens, in a matter of ten days, we have had the opportune chance to attend several corporate receptions and a few conferences and company-hosted seminars and presentations.  For all those events, the venues were filled to capacity, which is indicative of the interest of the shipping professionals longing for such events.  And, then, at all those events, the level of discussion and information provided were just amazing.

Unlike conferences in other locations that adopt a platform of regurgitating corporate press releases or speakers ‘talking their book’ and insisting presenting an artificially rosy picture of the industry, the events and conferences we attended in Greece were information- and data-driven, open to debate after the presentations, and taking a holistic approach to shipping and the need for transport, rather than being narrow-focused. We actually heard questions on the viability of modern ships and whether it’s worth replacing whole fleets on the basis on better fuel or technological options.

We are not jingoistic or nationalistic to the extent of dreaming of perfection in the Greek shipping market. There are less than stellar conferences and, and yes, people in conferences in Greece are known to pat themselves a bit on the back for the historic performance of the Greek shipping.

On the other hand, there have been so many events and presentations and conference, so much market information and intelligence, so much cross-pollination of ideas and suggestions, that a visit to Piraeus is always guaranteed to bring a shipping professional up to speed with the critical topics, hot markets, and prevailing ideas.  From people with an institutional knowledge of the shipping industry, to studied Ph.D.’s and other types of eggheads to the lowly shipbrokers and traders, good quality information on both granular and macro-level is traded in a furious table-tennis fashion. We are talking about ‘primary’ information from actual transactions and deal-making, to technical information on currently discussed regulations to ‘out of the box’ business structures, that is a school on its own.

We tend to travel a lot, and attend, and present, and even host conferences worldwide, and we really enjoy it immensely, and we always get richer from business traveling and conferences; the quality and richness, however, of shipping market information that can be found on Akti Miaouli and Piraeus and wherebeaouts is just unique to Greek shipping.  A trip to Piraeus is always an enjoyable crash course to catch up on business.  From the famous Greek song ‘The Young Men (Children) of Piraeus’ made famous by Melina Merkouri, the lyrics come to mind: ‘However I searched, I haven’t found another harbour, to make me infatuated, as Piraeus’; the lyrics are more about love than shipping, but the simile is right on target.

Once again, it’s hard to pinpoint the resilience, and some may say success, of the Greek shipping to any factor; on the other hand, the quality of the information shipping professionals in Greece got on their hands is just amazing and rejuvenating; and, even in a slow season and a weak market, corporate events and presentations and parties and conferences keep a professional’s calendar booked beyond business hours.

If information is power (and consequently money), our recent experience in Greece may be indicative of the strength and the prospects of this unique market.

Go to Piraeus, young (shipping) man!

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THIS IS THE LAST POSTING ON THIS BLOG; EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY, NEW POSTINGS WILL APPEAR ON KARATZAS AUCTIONS – PLEASE FEEL TO FOLLOW US THERE!

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© 2013 – present Basil M Karatzas & Karatzas Marine Advisors & Co.  All Rights Reserved.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER:  Access to this blog signifies the reader’s irrevocable acceptance of this disclaimer. No part of this blog can be reproduced by any means and under any circumstances, whatsoever, in whole or in part, without proper attribution or the consent of the copyright and trademark holders of this website. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that information here within has been received from sources believed to be reliable and such information is believed to be accurate at the time of publishing, no warranties or assurances whatsoever are made in reference to accuracy or completeness of said information, and no liability whatsoever will be accepted for taking or failing to take any action upon any information contained in any part of this website.  Thank you for the consideration.

A Shipping Finance Conference in Athens, a Great Success Story!

Profoundly thankful to the speakers, sponsors, participants and attendees for the immensely successful Slide2Open Karatzas Shipping Finance Conference 2019!

Proudly co-organized by Karatzas Marine Advisors & Co.

© 2013 – present Basil M Karatzas & Karatzas Marine Advisors & Co.  All Rights Reserved.

To access the conference website including presentations, proceedings, interviews and panel discussions, please click here!

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER:  Access to this blog signifies the reader’s irrevocable acceptance of this disclaimer. No part of this blog can be reproduced by any means and under any circumstances, whatsoever, in whole or in part, without proper attribution or the consent of the copyright and trademark holders of this website. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that information here within has been received from sources believed to be reliable and such information is believed to be accurate at the time of publishing, no warranties or assurances whatsoever are made in reference to accuracy or completeness of said information, and no liability whatsoever will be accepted for taking or failing to take any action upon any information contained in any part of this website.  Thank you for the consideration.

Karatzas Marine Advisors & Co Hosts Shipping Conference in Athens on January 24th, 2019

A high caliber list of shipping and finance decision makers to participate at this topical, agenda-setting Shipping Conference organized by Karatzas Marine Advisors & Co.

We are looking forward to seeing you on January 24th, 2019 in Athens!

© 2013 – present Basil M Karatzas & Karatzas Marine Advisors & Co.  All Rights Reserved.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER:  Access to this blog signifies the reader’s irrevocable acceptance of this disclaimer. No part of this blog can be reproduced by any means and under any circumstances, whatsoever, in whole or in part, without proper attribution or the consent of the copyright and trademark holders of this website. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that information here within has been received from sources believed to be reliable and such information is believed to be accurate at the time of publishing, no warranties or assurances whatsoever are made in reference to accuracy or completeness of said information, and no liability whatsoever will be accepted for taking or failing to take any action upon any information contained in any part of this website.  Thank you for the consideration.

Publicly-listed Shipping Companies May Deserve Better Valuations

Although capital markets have not been receptive for the shipping industry recently, publicly listed shipping companies still do have an advantage over privately held companies

From the Karatzas Auctions website, where to will be transferring the present blog soon:

Publicly-listed Shipping Companies May Deserve Better Valuations

Please click on the link for our posting

© 2013 – present Basil M Karatzas & Karatzas Marine Advisors & Co.  All Rights Reserved.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER:  Access to this blog signifies the reader’s irrevocable acceptance of this disclaimer. No part of this blog can be reproduced by any means and under any circumstances, whatsoever, in whole or in part, without proper attribution or the consent of the copyright and trademark holders of this website. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that information here within has been received from sources believed to be reliable and such information is believed to be accurate at the time of publishing, no warranties or assurances whatsoever are made in reference to accuracy or completeness of said information, and no liability whatsoever will be accepted for taking or failing to take any action upon any information contained in any part of this website.  Thank you for the consideration.

2018 was Indeed a Forgettable Year for Shipping. Is There More to It?

So far in 2018, the shipping freight markets have been proven uninspiring; current freight indices produced by the Baltic Exchange, the Shanghai Shipping Exchange and other data providers are comparable to year-old levels, give or take some “normal”volatility; and, it’s well known that shipping is capable of much more than “normal”volatility.

Product tankers specifically, and tankers in general, seem to be the disappointment of the year in terms of freight – but still, as of late, crude tankers have managed a fair recovery on the back of OPEC strong production performance and changing trade patterns for crude oil. The dry bulk market have mostly been having a respectable year with profitable cashflows, with the exception of a recent dive in the capesize freight market. The containership market had been fair in the early part of the year, especially for feeder and feedermax tonnage, although, recently. only trans-Pacific freight rates seem robust as shippers are trying to front-load their cargoes to the USA in expectation of heightened tariffs in the new year.And, the offshore market, after several years of tranquility reflecting an almost dead market, in 2018 has shown signs of hope as offshore drilling projects(very) selectively having been coming back to line.

The following chart from the Baltic Exchange, to which we are a member, depicts the BalticExchange freight indices for the drybulk market (BDI), and separately for the capesize market (BCI), its most important and also most volatile component;  also, the Baltic Exchange freight indices for crude(BDTI) and clean tankers (BCTI) are shown in the same graph. In order to provide more perspective, the graph incorporates both 2017 and 2018 y-t-d, showing that 2018 has been marginally better than the year before, at least for drybulk and tankers, seasonal volatility notwithstanding.

Likewise for the containership market with the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI):

All in all, on average, freight rates for most shipping assets were hovering around cash breakeven levels for most of 2018. Operating profits have been uninspiring, mostly, for the profitable sectors, while operating losses were too small to trigger fresh bankruptcies in unprofitable sectors.  Most of the shipping bankruptcies in 2018 were of “legacy assets” emanating – hard to believe – from the go-go days of the last decade. A couple more of shipping bankruptcies in 2018 were triggered from other factors such as accounting fraud– including one in the fishing industry to which we have acted as LiquidationTrustee by order of the High Court of the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

In a post from almost a year ago, we had argued that an uninspiring shipping market in 2018was the best thing the industry could have hoped for. Not that we objected to outsized profits in the shipping industry, or wished ill for those that had a “long position” in shipping. We just thought that there were too many ships on the water for the cargoes available to be shipped, and, also, we did not see a great deal of growth for those cargoes. Our position for a forgettable year, truth be told, also incorporated some wishful thinking, that an uninspiring market would prevent the players in the market from fresh excesses, such as fresh waves of newbuilding vessels, more and cheaper capital in the industry, and so forth. We are pleased that our “prediction” for a forgettable market has been proven true, and we apologize for the betrayed dreams and hopes for a much stronger recovery for the shipping industry in 2018.

A forgettable year in 2018, as a “downer” as it has been for the shipping industry, it also has, at the very least, led to a) the slowest pace of newbuilding orders in almost every asset class, b) a low outstanding orderbook for many types of vessels, and the lowest for some in recent memory, c) few new capital coming to the market to ignite d) speculation and speculative transactions. There seems to be some “normalcy”in the market and a return to the basics, of supply and demand and the following of the trade and cargoes.

As shipping freight markets are concerned, probably 2019 will not be much different than 2018. But again, there are many “drivers” and “catalysts” that can make for an exciting year in shipping in the new year in other areas than shipping.

And, holding our second shipping conference in Athens on January 24th, 2019, we will aim to deliver, once again, profound insight from the Captains of the industry, literally and metaphorically, for the things to come in the near future!