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Finansavisen torsdag 25. april 2019

Eastern Bulk goes to Melbourne

Shipping: Eastern Bulk Carriers opens a new office in Melbourne in June.

Bjørn Segrov

Baard Osland

It is Bård Osland who will represent the Lysaker-based charter company Eastern Bulk Carriers in the Australian port city. He is now looking for new additions to the team.

– I grew up in Melbourne, so I know both the city and the business culture well. We want to place ourselves there because it makes us more flexible to the time zones and we become even more efficient towards the market, says Osland.

Must grow

According to Osland, both 2017 and 2018 were positive years for Eastern Bulk Carriers. With 25-30 vessels in the group, good results have been delivered, which provides a good foundation for further growth.

– We want to expand the fleet to up to 50-60 ships, where we also look at smaller types of ships,” says Osland.

In February / March 2016, the dry cargo market bottomed out after earnings had been catastrophically poor for a long time and inflicted huge losses on all players in the industry.

After several years of significant accounting deficits, among other things as a result of write-downs of ship values, Tidemand family companies earned money again in 2017.

In 2017, Eastern Bulk freight revenues came to USD 118.3 million, corresponding to NOK 1 billion. Operating profit was $ 7.2 million and profit before tax $ 6.6 million.

The accounts for last year have not yet been finalized.

Belief in recovery

Eastern Bulk Carriers has a long history from Melbourne. Already in 1999, the Tidemand family established business in Australia, but withdrew in 2013.

That the competition from other dry cargo operators and shipping companies is fierce is confirmed by Osland:
– We must work for the margins. Our strength is to deliver results and find the best solutions for all our customers, says Osland.

He perceives that the freight market is now developing in the right direction:
– We are very positive about the market.

– Fuel prices are of course the big X factor for everyone in shipping, and most people are now sitting quietly waiting for the new emission regulations that will come into force from next year, says Osland.

He has experience as a charterer from companies such as Island View Shipping and Thoresen Shipping and former ship brokerage firm Endeavor Shipbrokers in both Melbourne and Singapore. Today he leads the business of Eastern Bulk Carriers in the East.