The Hamburg shipping companies Ahrenkiel Steamship GmbH & Co. KG (Ahrenkiel Steamship) and H. Vogemann Reederei GmbH & Co. KG (Vogemann) are merging their activities involving the technical management of bulk carriers.
The joint venture set up for this purpose, with the name of Ahrenkiel Vogemann Bulk GmbH & Co. KG (AVB), starts out managing a fleet of 14 bulk carriers with a total freight capacity of around 1 million tdw including three vessels of Hamburg-based KG Reederei Roth GmbH & Co. (Reederei Roth). The fleet's focus is currently on the Supramax and Panamax segments, but there are plans to branch out into other size categories. For example, two new Handysize vessels are expected to go into service at Reederei Roth in the first quarter of 2017 and will likewise be managed by AVB.
Bulk Carrier Monte Pelmo - Image courtesy: funamushisan
The majority shareholder of AVB is Ahrenkiel Steamship, which belongs to the MPC Capital Group. Dr Michael Silies and Jan-Eric Panitzki (both Ahrenkiel Steamship) alongside Karl Mohr (Vogemann) have been appointed as the directors.
Ahrenkiel Steamship and Vogemann had already established a joint pool for Supramax bulk carriers last year. The new joint venture that is now taking shape, with its operational base at Vogemann's business premises in Hamburg-Rotherbaum, is intended to take the partnership between the companies to the next level and secure an improved market position by unlocking synergies in technical management. Vogemann will take charge of chartering for the bulk carriers managed by AVB.
The market for bulk carriers is one of the areas of merchant shipping to have stabilised in recent months. After touching a low of 300 points in February 2016, the Baltic Dry Index has experienced a resurgence over the remainder of the year. In November the BDI moved above 1,200 points, its highest level since the end of 2014.
"In establishing the joint venture we are significantly extending our expertise in the bulk carrier area, which complements our existing focus on the midsize container ship segment. The strategic merger of bulk operations brings huge advantages for both partners because by combining our efforts we can now offer a unified market presence and a broad range of services. We are open to other partners joining," commented Dr Michael Silies, CEO of Ahrenkiel Steamship and Director of the new joint venture AVB.
Jens-Michael Arndt, Managing Partner of the H. Vogemann Group, added: "In today's difficult market environment close cooperation among partners is crucial. By pooling the partners' capacities we are boosting our competitiveness in the technical management of bulk carriers and have plans to expand this area further over the coming months."
Source: Ahrenkiel Steamship