Bargain Prices, Rising Cargo Rates Lift Second-hand Ship Sales

photo 583d988ca4fb7

Sales of second-hand ships used to haul commodities such as iron ore, coal, grain and fertilizer have hit a seven-year high in 2016 as the industry creeps out of an eight-year downturn that has sunk several fleets of shippers.

Seaborne transport, which accounts for 85 percent of global trade, has seen a tentative recovery in the rates shippers charge to carry dry-bulk cargoes, which has encouraged buyers to jump at the bargain prices for second-hand vessels.

Nearly 560 such dry-cargo ships, which as a class make up half the world's merchant fleet, have changed hands in deals worth $4.3 billion up to the end of November, data from shipbroker Clarkson showed, the highest number since 2009.

"We've seen a lot of interest from Asian buyers in 10-15 year old ships, which is partly due to the surge in rates," said Ziad Nakhleh, managing director of Greek owner Teo Shipping Corporation, to

Teo Shipping has put a 15-year old 74,107 deadweight tonne (DWT) panamax bulk carrier called the Cretan Wave up for sale at a price tag of $4.65 million, according to the website.

It is one of thousands of dry cargo ships on the market at traditional and online brokers.

"It does make more financial sense to buy second-hand at the moment than order new-builds, given the very attractive prices," said Ralph Leszczynski, head of research at ship broker Banchero Costa (Bancosta) in Singapore.

Learn more about this trend at: