Buying and Selling Ship at the right time

Spot charter rates should be a factor of minor significance in decision of buying or selling a ship. Buying a ship is a long term investment and implies a long term commitment about project horizon of 5 to 15 years. An investor who is financially ready to support a long term shipping project should not pay too much attention to “today’s” freight levels. Conservative Japanese shipowners, who usually commit vessels on extremely long time charter contracts, make use of hedging instruments for bunker pricing and future payments and follow a strict strategy with regard to their fleet utilisation and renewals. On the other hand, Greek shipowners like to keep their options open and love the spot market and in recent decades have mastered the concept of tramp shipping in most segments. Most Greek owners do not set a specific, predetermined horizon on the lifetime of their projects but instead react to the spot levels according to the markets and follow their intuition. Shipowning is an extremely risky business due to the volitile market and It is extremely important to invest at the right time and jump out of the wagon at right time. It is not a smart move to buy a modern capesize bulker in excess of $100m in any market. But, it would be smarter to buy a ship today at bottom dollar.