Shipping Challenges in India – Coal & Steel
22nd March 2017, The Leela's, Mumbai - 400059

10th Anniversary Celebrated

"Policy should have singular focus; Multiple objectivesruin the effectiveness of the programmes run by the government,"said Chief Guest, Mr Michael Pinto, (IAS),(retd)Director General of Shipping. He added,"When the Government is giving a fillip to the shipping industry it is important that primary objectives are achieved before we pursue secondary ones."

In a seminar organised by the Shipping Academic Conferences along with Marex Creativeson the 22nd March at The Leela with the tagline ‘Shipping Challenges in India - Coal & Steel.’ Mr Pinto gave a strong signal to the government for course correction.

Capt Kamal Chadha, Chief Editor of Marex Media in his inimitable manner welcomed the dignitaries and the participants. The dignitaries then came to the dais for lighting the traditional lamp together with Mr CK Sharma, the Academic Advisor to the Shipping Conferences.

Capt Chadha called on stage Mr Pinto to deliver his inaugural address. Mr Pinto said "India, for a country of its size, the length of its long coastline and its strategic position as one of the world’s main sea routes possesses a distressingly small number of deep sea ships. India’s weakness in this respect has long been recognized by the authorities and the Government of India has pledged itself to a policy of assisting in the development of an Indian mercantile marine."

Senior Managing Editor at S&P Global Paltts, Singapore, Mr Pradeep Rajan,spoke on ‘Freight Market- Present & Future.’ Explaining the various factors which play an important role on the supply of steel and coal, he said, "The delivery of ships is on the lower side but a spur in second hand sales has helped in consolidation of tonnage. China has a lion’s share in steel production while there has been a significant increase of seven percent in India’s steel production. India is presently exporting three million tonnes of steel to Vietnam each year.

"Where coal is concerned, India will be importing huge amounts of coal for its electricity production. Vietnam has doubled its imports from 6% to 12%. A sizeable amount of coal came to west Asia from Chile which has increased exports from 1% to 10%."

Capt Rahul Bhargava, Executive Director--Commercial & Operations, Essar Shipping Limited, spoke on the ‘Future of Dry Bulk Ship-Owning, Analysing Ship Owners’ perspective’.He commented "High priced Dry Bulkers are sweating it out in the present low market.

"China fuelled the freight market but after the Olympics it has slowed down. Order and supply is mismatched. Presently Brexit, Donald Trump and Demonetization are the biggest drawbacks. But now China is changing from infrastructure, housing and heavy industry to consumer and service sectors.All adding to the poor performance for the dry bulk sector. The good news however isthat Iran has opened up for trade, and bunker prices are low."

Mr PK Mitra spoke on "Ship Operating Business-- Survival in Difficult Times."He acknowledged that the present conditions were the most horrible since 2008."Ship operating business is nothing but providing of a commercial freight solution by an owner operator undertaking responsibility for all underlyingrisks in a shipment."

"Survival strategy for owners includes reduction in operating costs and increased efficiency, seeking creditor lenience as market seems to be re-bounding, restructuring loans and credits with banks and lenders, acquire second hand vessels to average out their costs and broaden market share, and balance underlying risk."

A cake cutting ceremony to mark the 10th Anniversary of Shipping Academic Conferences was held with much fanfare and enthusiasm.

Included in the meet was a quiz contest for the participants with prizes being sponsored by Damani Shipping Private Limited.

Post lunch, Mr AmruthGanapathy, Vice President-- Shipping, Caravel Shipping Ltd spoke on "Major Bulk cargoes and difficulties they create in Operations"with respect to Coal & Steel. He observed, "The dangers of steel transportation include rust development, handling and contamination, while coal transportation risks hazards of fire, explosion, self-heating, and release of methane gas."

Mr CK Sharma, Academic Advisor, Endeavour Creatives, and MD Shipping, OPG Power Generation Pvt Ltd spoke on the shadyside of shipping with his real-life experiences in the industry. He asked the industry captains to take due diligence before drafting of contracts and to take utmost care while releasing payments so that one does not get hurt by unscrupulous elements.

An open house with eminent panellists like Mr. Ranjit Singh, CEO Essar Shipping as Chairperson, Mr. Ashok Jain MD, Diamond Shipbrokers Pvt Ltd and Mr. Ashwin Shanker, Shipping Advocate answered the many queries raised by the participants.

Prizes were given to the participants who won the quiz contest. Alok Shirodkar, CEO, Krunch Today delivered a Vote of Thanks to conclude the session.

The successful seminar was well attended by Senior and top Management from the entire shipping sector.

Marex Media