Danish shippers stock up

Dismal economic forecasts have not deterred Danish shippers from expanding their fleets

'Steady as she goes,' seems to be the mantra of the Danish shipping industry. While financial houses have warned of a global shipping slowdown, Mærsk and other shippers have continued their expansion and modernisation plans.

A total of 247 ships are on their way to Danish shippers worth a total of DKK 75 billion. Among these are 30 ships purchased for DKK 8 billion.

The average age of the Danish merchant fleet is now seven years, compared to a world average of about 13 years, according to the Danish Shipowners' Association.

'Economic growth continues, higher safety demands are being made on ships and we have the most modern merchant fleet and the oldest shippers in the world,' Jan Fritz Hansen, the vice president of the Danish Shipowners' Association, told daily business journal Børsen. 'What reason is there to believe that we're one hit wonders?'

He noted that while rates for shipping containers have fallen, the cost of oil shipments and dry shipments have increased.

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