Singapore-listed Rickmers Maritime Trust saw its 1Q15 profit drop 29% year-on-year to USD7.03 million. The trust, led by Thomas Preben Hansen, cited lower charter rates on six ships.
Five of those ships were redelivered during the 2014, and one vessel was redelivered in 1Q15.
The trust secured new employment for Moni Rickmers (formerly known as Ital Fiducia) with NYK Line, following the vessel’s redelivery from Italia Marittima on 1 March 2015 and 14.7 days of preparation and positioning.
The new charter, which commenced on 16 March 2015 at a net daily charter rate of USD9,381, has a contract period of at least 150 days, and NYK Line has the option to extend it to a maximum of 260 days.
Kaethe C Rickmers was redelivered by Mediterranean Shipping Company in Antwerp, Belgium, on 22 February 2015 and subsequently embarked on a time charter voyage to Asia for Maersk Line.
Upon arriving in Asia, the vessel immediately commenced a new time charter with NYK Line on 5 April at a net daily charter rate of USD16,293 for a minimum period of 85 days and a maximum period of 160 days.
CMA CGM Azure’s charter to CMA CGM was extended for a minimum period of 10 months and maximum period of 12 months at a net daily charter rate of USD12,255 starting from 14 April.
Hansen is cautiously optimistic about the trust’s performance as container trade growth is set to grow to 6.6% this year, from 6% in 2014.
Container vessel capacity is expected to increase by 6.2% over the year.
“A number of our existing charter agreements are set to expire in the coming quarters and we are actively seeking to secure new employment for the relevant vessels with reliable counterparties,” Hansen commented. “We have always been able to keep our vessels employed and the recent agreements inked with NYK Line for Moni Rickmers and Kaethe C Rickmers bear testament to the attractiveness of our vessels.
“While spot rates are still lower than long-term historical average rates, they are on the rise, and we will continue taking steps to position the trust to benefit from the further recovery in the industry.”