Photo Delivery and Christening Ceremony 3_72

Photo: Miss Cherry Xie

Hamburg/Singapore February 4th 2015 – The Hamburg and Singapore based HBC Hamburg Bulk Carriers takes delivery of the first HBC43 new building. Based on the advanced B.Delta series design from Finnish designer Deltamarin, the HBC43 has been further modified to cater for the typical cargo contracts of HBC, and at the same time, through shallow-draft, allowing for a maximum of trading flexibility. The result is a handy bulker of 43.500 dwt with a significant low consumption.

Download WORD-file: Erlkönig of the Ocean ENGLISH VERSION Feb 4th

The HBC43 sets a milestone within the important maritime EEDI Energy Efficiency Design Index by undercutting the present EEDI (for ships constructed before Dec 2014) by 32,55% at a speed of 14,69 kn (4,151g CO2/tonne-nm). With the arrival of EEDI-3 in 2025, the HBC43 is still better than the requirements by 2,55%

We started this project by looking historically at all our cargo contracts in the previous decade, including a detailed study of the voyages and ports involved, thus giving us a basic understanding of the ideal vessel for our customers”, said Mr. Georg Greilinger, Co-Founder and Managing Director of HBC Hamburg Bulk Carriers in Singapore.

In addition to this capacity, it was our good fortune that we serve industrial clients with both the capacity and appetite to engage in further improvements of a design which we originally considered the best one around. This resulted in a new vessel which even major competitors consider best of class and is a good example of a close and fruitful cooperation between a beneficial cargo owner and his ocean carrier”.

Expertise for the vessel new building first came in the person of Mr. Ian Thompson, Managing Director of TMS Ship Management GmbH & Co KG in Hamburg. In the early design phase, Mr. Thompson, in cooperation with Deltamarin, enabled further improvements of the design. TMS, which is in part a member of the HBC Group, also undertook responsibility for the yard supervision and trials. These services and vessel Technical Management are part of the TMS Portfolio which is also available to third parties.

At first glance it was hard to believe the performance of these vessels prior to delivery, but it was comforting to see the results from the esteemed Hamburg ship design institute HSVA Hamburgische Schiffbau-Versuchsanstalt”, explains Capt. Stefan Bülow, who joined the management team at HBC in the summer of 2014. “The ships are an extended version of the B.Delta 37 and demonstrate the old adage Länge läuft, best translated as “length is speed”, and this is proven as the vessel have an outstanding relation of speed and consumption, also in comparison to other modern designs”, continues Capt. Bülow

The first series of HBC43 includes delivery of 10 vessels, of which the HBC Group has financed the lion’s share by itself. “Partly the vessels were ordered together with a long-term industrial client from the EU”, commented Mr. Greilinger. “We consider such trust being the best currency in our industry and we believe it is also a result of the HBC philosophy; being the focus on a reliable and efficient service for our customers, leading to a long-term relationship as the reward.

The decision for a new building program marks numerous changes for HBC as the corporation transforms from a “vessel operator” into a so called “owner operator”, a step motivated by the wish to provide a consistent level of quality and service to the customer base.

Recent decades proved China and its people to be true masters of change, and the world watched with amazement” said Mr. Jens von Husen, Co-Founder and Managing Director of HBC in Hamburg. “But today, change is part of the agenda for all of us, there is no hiding away and so it makes more sense to embrace this phenomena and consider change a normal part of daily life”, he continues, indicating that changes are reflected in the long-term strategy and culture of his firm.

Approaching the market with a fresh design that delivers significant improvements on consumption has proved to be a balancing act to the group. According to HBC Chartering Department, only few freight desks are willing to pay a premium for a green vessel. “Any saving on consumption is welcomed by our customers, but there is no premium offered for the innovative job itself”, was the conclusion when sounding out the marketplace. As the maiden voyage the first HBC43 will carry woodpellets from Vancouver to Liverpool. A transportation of clean energy suits well the environmental friendly profile of HBC43.

Certainly our customers will remain alert to the cost aspect when sourcing ocean transportation, this indeed is resistant to change”, Mr. von Husen added, “but we are running out of time on the climate and environmental challenges and we must all do our best to rise to them. Surely we as an industry, together with our customers, must follow what other established industries have started many years ago, we must “get clean”, said Mr. von Husen, who is himself a born Hamburg citizen from a time where summers would be chilly and everyone would be carrying an umbrella.

The automotive industry led the way. Today, the manufacturers of heavy duty vehicles are in a head-to-head competition on fuel-efficient or non-fuel based engines. Although this trend had a slow beginning and was accelerated mainly by increasing legislative regulation on city zones as well as public resentment, the result clearly is a “win-win scenario” for everyone”, Mr. von Husen continues. “In comparison, our industry reacted very slowly, or did not react at all, to the early announcements of new emission control areas for many ports in Europe and the US. This is strange, since the focus of “total resource consumption” and “total resource effectiveness” has even made its way to Wall Street. It must be expected therefore that freight buyers will begin to implement the ECA regulations in their purchase policy, some driven by fear of penalties, other driven by the wish for improvements or pressure by their own customers. Some ships will no longer be able to work profitable in such regions. We therefore believe that the financial part of the maritime world will soon start to analyze what may be considered “stranded assets” on top of the numerous distressed assets”, said von Husen.

The HBC Group added considerable experience to further accelerate improvements in commercial design with Capt. Bülow. “Prior to the crisis it was hard to find the necessary dedication of resources for the R&D phase, since shipyards received new orders as quickly as they could offer free capacity using old designs”, says Mr. Bülow. “But today we have some of the world’s leading yards eager to be at the front of improvement, often with a determined partnership approach, and so the ongoing crisis unfolds yet another set of opportunities within a crucial segment of our business”.

All in all these are exciting times” said Mr. von Husen. “We know what we have to do, even if not all technologies are mature yet. We know we will not go back to sail, but the goal is clear and we are happy to fire the starting shot at our industry and to invite more of our customers and related industries to join us in getting there, namely the zero-emission vessel. It is a long and challenging journey and we welcome every hand aboard”.

HBC Group is a global provider of ocean-going transport for bulk commodities with direct access to the beneficial cargo owners. HBC provides a commercial and technical management expertise. The Owner-operated group was founded 1999 and is located in Singapore and Hamburg. HBC Group holds freight contracts of 3-5m tons of bulk cargo per year and has an average of 10-20 vessels in ownership and on T/C (up to 35 in peak times) as well as vessels under commercial and technical management.

Press Contact:

KfdM Kommunikation für den Mittelstand
Marcus Walter
Sudetenweg 12
85375 Neufahrn bei Freising

Tel: 08165 / 999 3843
Fax 08165 / 999 3845
Mobil: 0170 / 77 36 70 5

HBC Hamburg Bulk Carriers GmbH & Co KG

Neumühlen 15

22763 Hamburg

Phone +49 40 800 982 – 0

Managing Director Jens von Husen