Maersk Ready With Backup Plan for 18 Rickmers Vessels


Maersk Line said it has drawn up contingency plans to minimize the potential fallout from Rickmers Holding’s insolvency on its customers’ cargo.

Maersk currently has 18 Rickmers vessels in its fleet — six charter ships formerly owned by the German ship owner and manager and a further 12 on charter that it operates on behalf of their owners.

Files for Insolvency:

Rickmers filed for insolvency at the beginning of June after its main lender, HSH Nordbank, rejected a planned refinancing of debts of around 1.5 billion euros ($1.7 billion).

The company operates a fleet of 114 ships, including 80 container vessels with a combined capacity of almost 425,000 TEU.  

The Rickmers vessels account for around 4 percent of the total capacity of Maersk Line’s fleet of 639 vessels, the Danish carrier said.

Customers given assurance over fallout:

“It is Maersk Line’s expectation that operations of these 18 vessels should continue unaffected, under the supervisory entity acting on behalf of the creditors,” Maersk said in an advisory note to its customers.

“If required, we expect the real owners to transfer the management of these vessels to other operators in the markets with no impact on the fulfilment of current contracts.”

The “same stability” is expected for the operations of Rickmers’ vessels chartered by Maersk’s partners in vessel-sharing agreements.

The carrier said it is continuously monitoring the situation and is in close dialogue with “relevant players” in the shipping industry.

“We currently do not expect any impact [from] Rickmers Holding’s filing for insolvency.”

Cargo delivery rescheduled:

Mediterranean Shipping Co., Maersk’s partner in the 2M alliance, has said it will “act quickly” if a Rickmers creditor takes action against any of the three vessels it has chartered from the Hamburg-based company.

Two of the three ships — the 1,216 TEU Sandy Rickmers and the 4,445 TEU MSC Florida — are scheduled for redelivery to Rickmers in September.

Bid to attract new investors:

Rickmers hired investment house Macquarie Capital this week to attract new investors as it seeks to survive its insolvency.

The company said vessel operations, in particular its ship management services, are “running stable.”

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Source: JOC


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