SHIPPING: Never before have Danish shipping companies had so many ships on order. The new ships will swell the fleet by 50%
Danish shipping companies have embarked on the biggest newbuild programme ever. A total of EUR 12 billion is being invested in new ships across the shipyards of Asia and Europe. By 2011, more than 250 ships will have been delivered, a figure corresponding to 50% of the current Danish merchant fleet. The newbuild programme will bring the average age of the Danish merchant fleet’s ships below 5 years. The average age of the rest of the world’s fleet is about 12 years.
“The record-breaking newbuild programme reflects the optimism of Denmark’s shipping industry,” says Torben Janholt, chairman of the Danish Shipowners’ Association and director of J. Lauritzen shipping company. “Since 2002 the industry has seen annual growth of 15- 20%. We estimate that Danish shipping companies contributed over EUR 21 billion gross to 2006 foreign exchange earnings.”
The growth is coming not only from shipping freight with the companies’ own ships, but also from solid business acumen regarding buying and selling of tonnage, and chartering of foreign ships. The Danish shipping industry’s operation of foreign ships in pool collaborations counts for three times more than the operation of its own ships. About one tenth of the world’s merchant fleet, corresponding to more than 1 billion tons, is controlled by Danish shipping companies.