Stena Bulk is one of the world’s leading tanker operators, offering safe and cost-effective transportation of crude oil and refined petroleum products by sea. This requires a holistic perspective – from development and construction to crewing and chartering of first-class tankers.
An efficient operation gives a high laden ratio
The tanker market turned downwards one quarter earlier than expected, which had an adverse effect on Stena Bulk. However, the combination of new contracts and customers, an efficient organisation and profound business acumen enabled the company to maintain its market position. The company’s income per vessel per day was USD 2,000–3,000 higher than that of competitors in 2016.
Well deployed fleet
Stena Bulk took delivery of additional four IMOIIMAX vessels during the year. Stena and Concordia have ordered a total of 13 ships from Guangzhou Shipyard in China, with the last in the series scheduled for delivery in early 2018. These flexible vessels are well suited for trading with chemicals, petroleum products and vegetable oils. During the latter part of 2016, an office was opened in Dubai, to focus on transportation of chemicals through Stena Weco and Golden Stena Weco. After six successful years together, the remaining 50% of Stena Weco was acquired from Weco Shipping A/S in April 2017. Stena Weco currently has a fleet of about 65 owned and chartered vessels.
Stena Bulk has positioned, arranged and handled the timing of its time charter portfolio well. By summer 2017, 90% of the positions taken in 2014 and 2015 will have been completed or renegotiated at lower rates, making profitability possible despite a weaker market. The goal is to manage and develop the business model within Stena Weco in order to optimise the laden ratio and growth. For Stena Sonangol Suezmax Pool, the aim is to take advantage of the market downturn in 2017 and use the opportunities it offers to develop the existing business model.
Stena Bulk’s three LNG tankers are all chartered out and had a high utilisation rate in 2016. The weak market is affected by the oil price, while many of the planned LNG production projects have been delayed. However, the LNG market appears to have bottomed out and the freight market seems to be on an upward trend.
Focus on digital decision support
Stena Bulk is developing a more sophisticated system for bringing together chartering, commercial operations and business control in a single platform. Both new and old data is collected, creating an intelligent system that gives the customer quick and easy access to customised information.
Erik HånellCEO, Stena Bulk
2017 is expected to be a challenging new year in the traditional tanker market, with many vessel deliveries scheduled, particularly in the VLCC, Suezmax and Aframax categories.
We shall continue to establish ourselves in niche markets that deal mainly with petroleum products, chemicals and vegetable oils, while also developing our business model in the Suezmax segment, and we expect to continue to be well positioned for the future, both in the short and long term. The traditional tanker market is expected to bottom out in spring 2017, and then make a slow upward turn in the end of 2018. We are monitoring the LNG market, which is likely to be better next year.