Zodiac Maritime

The maritime industry faces new security challenges following Iran’s attack on Israel and the hijacking of the 15,000 TEU container ship MV MSC Aries. Over the weekend, Iran launched more than 300 projectiles at Israel, claiming it was retaliation for a prior attack on its consulate in Damascus. Concurrently, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Navy seized a container ship affiliated with Eyal Ofer-led diversified shipowner and operator Zodiac Maritime, operated by Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC), near the Strait of Hormuz. In response to these developments, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called on all parties to de-escalate tensions, describing the current situation as one of the most dangerous since the Cuban Missile Crisis. Ian Bremmer, a political scientist and president of the New York-based Eurasia Group, echoed these concerns, emphasizing the global risk level. The tension has particularly escalated in maritime regions. Iran has threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz, a critical maritime chokepoint between the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman, stating that ships linked to the “Zionist Regime” are banned from the area and risk confiscation. This has led to security consultants advising all Israeli-linked shipping to avoid the Strait of Hormuz. Additionally, there are indications that Israel might retaliate imminently. Further complicating the security landscape, there are warnings that Algeria could become another threat to maritime safety, potentially targeting ships near its Mediterranean coastline. Iran’s more assertive stance is noted, with clear signals that it will no longer limit its actions to proxy engagements, as seen with the Houthis in Yemen, who have attacked approximately 80 ships in the past six months. Moreover, there are reports of groups in Algeria receiving attack drones from Iran, raising concerns about the safety of shipping routes in the East Mediterranean. Merchant vessels have been advised to keep their distance from the Israeli coastline to mitigate risks associated with the heightened military activity in the region. 15-April-2024


Eyal Ofer-led diversified shipowner and operator Zodiac Maritime is entering an ambitious phase by partnering with Lloyd’s Register (LR), HD Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering (HD KSOE), and KEPCO E&C to develop nuclear-propelled ship designs. This collaboration marks a significant step in the shipping industry’s exploration of nuclear energy as a potential marine fuel. The partnership, formalized through a memorandum of understanding signed at HD Hyundai Global R&D Center, will focus on designing nuclear-powered bulk carriers and containerships. HD KSOE and KEPCO E&C, renowned in shipbuilding and nuclear industries, aim to create a nuclear propulsion ship with a life cycle cost (LCA) significantly lower than that of carbon-neutral ships. Under this joint development project, HD Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering (HD KSOE) and KEPCO E&C will contribute their expertise in ship and reactor design. Meanwhile, Lloyd’s Register will oversee the safety operation standards and compliance with regulatory models. This collaboration will enable Zodiac Maritime to assess ship specifications and the implications of nuclear technology for maritime voyages. Zodiac Maritime, based in London, is known for its environmental commitment, reflected in its growing order book of dual-fuel ships. The company manages a diverse fleet of over 130 ships, with more than 20 newbuilding ship on order, predominantly LNG dual-fuel containerships and car carriers. This initiative is part of the broader shift in the shipping industry towards zero-carbon solutions. Nuclear technology presents a promising avenue, though it is still in the early stages of maritime application. This joint development project (JDP) with HD Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering (HD KSOE), KEPCO E&C, and Lloyd’s Register (LR) represents Zodiac Maritime’s commitment to advancing nuclear power technology in shipping. Globally, various nuclear shipping projects are underway. For instance, China’s Jiangnan Shipyard recently unveiled a container ship design featuring molten salt reactor technology. A survey by the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) indicated that 9% of C-suite executives anticipate nuclear-powered ships within the next decade. Lloyd’s Register recognizes the significant potential of nuclear technology to facilitate the maritime energy transition and offer a sustainable, low- or zero-carbon fuel solution for the long term. 20-December-2023


Eyal Ofer-led diversified shipowner and operator Zodiac Maritime controlled 2014 built capesize bulk carrier 181K DWT MV Indian Partnership was stable on Tuesday after taking on water following a grounding off Indonesia on 22 April 2023. London-based Zodiac Maritime Ltd controlled MV Indian Partnership breached but was stable after hitting an uncharted reef. MV Indian Partnership is afloat at anchor after making it to shallower waters off Indonesia. MV Indian Partnership was en route to China carrying bauxite ore cargo. The collision with the reef punctured the forward ballast tanks located on the starboard side of MV Indian Partnership. 23-April-2023


Eyal Ofer-led diversified shipowner and operator Zodiac Maritime has acquired 2011 built capesize bulk carrier 175K DWT MV Giuseppe Bottiglieri for around $16 million from Italian shipowner and operator Giuseppe Bottiglieri Shipping Company (GBSC). Zodiac Maritime taking advantage of low capesize bulk carrier prices. Zodiac Maritime has been renewing the fleet of large bulk carriers. Currently, diversified shipowner and operator Zodiac Maritime has a fleet of 23 capesize bulk carriers and 3 VLOCs (Very Large Ore Carriers) in the dry bulk segment. 5-October-2020


Diversified shipowner and operator Zodiac Maritime is expanding its fleet with fourth large bulk carrier purchase in 2019. Eyal Ofer led Zodiac Maritime bought 2005 built Very Large Ore Carrier (VLOC) 203K DWT MV Azul Fortuna for about $15.8 million from Japanese shipowner Kotobuki Shipping. Zodiac Maritime is renewing its fleet. In May 2019, Zodiac Maritime bought 2004 built Very Large Ore Carrier (VLOC) 233K DWT MV Cape Toucan (ex MV Pacific Glory) for about $14.6 million. In September 2019, Zodiac Maritime bought 2004 built Very Large Ore Carrier (VLOC) 203K DWT MV Cape Kori (ex MV Azul Challenge) for about $16.8 million. In September 2019, Zodiac Maritime also bought 2012 built capesize bulk carier 180K DWT MV Cape Krane (ex MV Frontier Voyager) for about $25.9 million. Zodiac Maritime has not disposed of any ships in capesize segment since 2018. Zodiac Maritime’s fleet comprises 27 large bulk carriers and also 13 handysize to kamsarmax bulk carriers. 12-December-2019


Eyal Ofer led diversified shipowner and operator Zodiac Maritime has acquired Japanese controlled capesize bulk carrier. Zodiac Maritime has been taking advantage of fairly low price tags in the capesize bulk segment. Zodiac Maritime has acquired 2012 built capesize bulk carrier 180 DWT MV Frontier Voyager for about $24.5 million from Tokyo listed shipping giant NYK (Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha). According to market veterans, MV Frontier Voyager has a price tag of around $28 million. In 2012, MV Frontier Voyager was built at Tsuneishi Heavy Industries Cebu. Currently, diversified shipowner and operator Zodiac Maritime’s fleet comprises 39 bulk carriers which includes 20 capesize bulk carriers and 7 VLOCs (Very Large Ore Carriers). In May 2019, Zodiac Maritime bought 2004 built VLOC (Very Large Ore Carrier) 233K DWT MV Cape Toucan (ex MV Pacific Glory) from Tokyo listed giant Mitsui O.S.K. Lines for about $14.6 million. In May 2019, bulk freight rates were considered really depressed. Eyal Ofer led diversified shipowner and operator Zodiac Maritime has generally been expanding its fleet, but Zodiac Maritime has also been known to make opportunistic asset plays. For example, in July 2015, Zodiac Maritime bought the 2015 built capesize bulk carrier 181K DWT MV SBI Puro and 2015 built capesize bulk carrier 181K DWT MV SBI Valrico from Scorpio Bulkers for about $35.3 million each. In June 2018, Zodiac Maritime sold MV SBI Puro and MV SBI Valrico to Genco Shipping & Trading for $45 million each. In November 2018, Zodiac Maritime bought 2010 built capesize bulk carrier 180K DWT MV Frontier Ambition for about $29 million. 19-September-2019


Eyal Ofer-led London-based Zodiac Maritime Ltd. has entered the capesize S&P market for the first time in 2019. Eyal Ofer’s esteemed shipping company has identified a dip in bulker values, and seized the opportunity to invest in second-hand dry cargo tonnage, marking its first foray into this area in over six months. Zodiac Maritime Ltd 2004 built VLOC (Very Large Ore Carrier) 233K DWT MV Pacific Glory. Mitsui OSK Lines, the Japanese conglomerate, sold the MV Pacific Glory to Zodiac Maritime for around $14.5 million, a price reflective of current depressed market levels.

Eyal Ofer-led London-based Zodiac Maritime Ltd., a diverse shipping enterprise, presently boasts a fleet of 25 capesize bulk carriers, which includes six (6) ore carriers, four (4) of which were built before 2000. In 2018, Zodiac Maritime has focused on augmenting and replenishing its tanker fleet, with six modern assets procured from the former Toisa fleet, and an expansion in its VLCC (Very Large Crude Carrier) footprint, among other significant achievements.

In the dry cargo arena, London-based Zodiac Maritime Ltd.’s most recent large bulker acquisition was in November 2018, when Zodiac Maritime acquitred capesize bulk carrier 180K DWT MV Frontier Ambition for around $29 million.

Notably, in 2018, Zodiac Maritime divested some of its tonnage purchased during the previous down-cycle and profited from the transaction. The sale included two capesize bulk carriers, which were bought from Scorpio Bulkers during a market low in 2016, and subsequently transferred as part of a broader transaction with the New York-listed Genco Shipping & Trading.

However, earlier this year, capesize bulk carrier sale and purchase activity experienced a significant downturn due to uncertainty surrounding steel values following a tragic dam collapse in Brazil, which had caused rates to plummet during the first quarter. 28-May-2019


Eyal Ofer’s Zodiac Maritime continues to be busy disposing of vintage bulkers for demolition. Zodiac Maritime sold the 1991 built Very Large Ore Carrier (VLOC) 267K DWT DWT M/V Wugang Orient for scrapping in Bangladesh for $234 per ldt, or $8.7 million. It is the fourth large bulker that Zodiac Maritime has sold for recycling this year. Zodiac Maritime still has nine (9) capesize bulk carriers built before 2000. 2-March-2016