We hear from a seasoned Ship Sale & Purchase broker on the impact Covid-19 is having in relation to buying and selling ships.

“As ship sale & purchase brokers based in Rotterdam, we are facing the headwinds of dwindling global activities related to the sale of ships, and the reluctance of most shipowners and investors to engage in new transactions,” says Rod Schlick, Managing Director of Friday & Co. Shipbrokers in Rotterdam.

But, is an uncertain market a smart time to think about buying a vessel?

“Even in the niche markets we operate in, of Multipurpose-, heavy-lift- and coastal dry cargo- and tanker vessels, there is not one clear answer. But, for the brave and the bold, opportunities will eventually arise through these headwinds if you can adapt your sails and change your course.”

Ever the optimist, Schlick continues “Shipbrokers are by nature optimistic species, and our job is to spot the interesting prospects for our clients and inform them promptly about what can be done and where. In these adverse economic times, we have hoisted some extra sails to be able to provide our bank-, investor- and shipowner clients with more tailored advice, specialized market Intel and valuations so they can make better and more substantiated decisions to strengthen their business.”

What if we are still interested in making a deal?

For those that are still interested in buying and selling vessels, there are practical limitations and some delays in getting a transaction to go through. For instance, restrictions are preventing some buyers (not all) in surveying vessels and getting crew from and off the vessel. However, we have built up a network of independent surveyors around the world and these days we can do a lot digitally and plan to schedule surveys as soon as it is safe to do so again. Only time will tell how long this uncertain market will last, but for now we have to keep on-course and always continue sailing forward.

Rod Schlick – Friday & Co. Shipbrokers

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