Coasters, the small but mighty fleet. According to data collected by Friday & Co. Shipbrokers and analysis completed by Sea3R, the coaster market in Europe is extremely fragmented, and to conduct proper analyses of the value of these vessels you need to ensure you are comparing apples with apples.

Their European Gearless Dry Coaster Fleet Annual Report 2021, published last week, focuses on developments over the past 12 months and expectations for the future of this aging fleet.

“We have examined the European gearless dry coaster fleet between 2600 and 9500 deadweight tonnes. This report gives a comprehensive overview of this so far low profile, but yet very important shipping market to the European community,” says Peter Molloy, Managing Director, Sea3R.

The report suggests that when analysing the shortsea segment, “shortsea” is too broad a term to describe a very fragmented industry. The vessel dimensions, specification, hold layout, and equipment onboard can all indicate a vessel is operating in a separate sub-segment. Vessels the same size and age but with one or two holds or with or without cranes all have different value profiles.

When creating the report, analysts found gearless coasters to be one clear sub-segment within shortsea. However, after further analysis, they found a further four sub-segments below 9500DWT, all with their own characteristics, fleet age profile, new build schedules and price variations.

“Even within these sub-segments, calculations need to be made to ensure we are comparing like with like. Once we allow for this fragmentation and find our way through this mist of research and information, we start to see some interesting trends. Our report is split into 3600, 5000, 6500 and 8500 DWT size categories which includes approximately 1500 ships operating in Europe. Each of the four sizes has different maximum and average age profiles,” says Molloy.

Rod Schlick, Managing Director, Friday & Co. Shipbrokers, mentions the importance of the fleet in shipping. “European short sea vessels; relatively small in size, but high in numbers while maintaining strong asset values. A fleet operating under the public radar but hugely important for European trade of goods.”

The report divides the European gearless dry coaster fleet into four sub-segments identifiable by deadweight size categories. The data addresses the following topics:
• Company of Control and Commercial Operator landscape.
• Fleet Profile and development for each size category.
• Value performance.
• Legislation and technical developments.

“Although the fleet is complicated and fragmented, it is still very interesting for us ship nerds to analyse and we really like talking about it!”

Peter Molloy, Managing Director, Sea3R.

The outlook for all vessels in this aging fleet is positive but it’s not without its challenges such as environmental regulations and financing. To find out more, or to purchase the full report contact

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