Hamburg Süd Sells Bulk Shipping Business to China Navigation

hamburg sud ship
Photo: Hamburg Süd

German shipping group Hamburg Süd announced Monday it is selling its bulk shipping business to The China Navigation Company, a subsidiary of the Swire Group, as it focusses on its liner business.

The agreement includes Hamburg Süd subsidiaries Rudolf A. Oetker (RAO), Furness Withy Chartering and the bulk activities in Aliança Navegação e Logística (Aliabulk).

The bulk shipping business of Hamburg Süd operates from Hamburg, London, Melbourne and Rio de Janeiro with a chartered fleet of approximately 45 vessels in the Handysize, Supra/Ultramax and Kamsarmax/Panamax segments.

“With this step, Hamburg Süd is focusing as planned on its liner business with its two container shipping brands, Hamburg Süd and Aliança,” says Dr. Arnt Vespermann, CEO of Hamburg Süd. “As part of Maersk, the world’s largest liner shipping company, this clear focus is a logical step. At the same time, CNCo, is an established and well-respected company in bulk shipping that is on a growth course in this segment and therefore constitutes a good new home for RAO, Furness Withy and Aliança Bulk.”

Maersk Line completed its acquisition of Hamburg Süd in November 2017 from the Oetker Group

China Navigation is headquartered in Singapore and is a wholly-owned deep-sea owning and operating division of the multinational Swire Group. The company today employs around 2,500 employees globally and owns and operates about 135 vessels consisting mainly of dry bulk carriers and multipurpose liner vessels. Swire’s dry bulk trading business, Swire Bulk, was established in 2012. It currently controls a fleet of over 100 modern Handysize and Supra/Ultramax vessels comprised of owned, long term and short term-chartered tonnage.

“CNCo is excited to have successfully signed this acquisition” commented James Woodrow, Managing Director of The China Navigation Company. “There are some very natural synergies between the businesses and we are delighted to acquire such an experienced and high-quality team and business that complements our own modern eco fleet and helps to develop our strategic expansion into the Supra/Ultramax segment. We share a strong corporate culture with a rich history spanning close to 150 years between Hamburg Sud (1871), The China Navigation Company (1872) and Furness Withy (1891) that demonstrates a shared vision and long-term commitment to the Maritime Industry.“

The closing of the agreement is expected by the end of the first quarter of 2019 and is still subject to regulatory approval.

RAO Tankers is not included in the sale and will remain part of the Hamburg Süd Group.

The sale price was not disclosed.