To fully understand the wealth of opportunities in Asia, there is a need for companies to have a presence in the region.
China continues to be a growth driver in the dry bulk sector and successful international businesses understand the significance of developing close relationships within the mainland.
With more than four decades of experience in the shipping industry, Seanergy Maritime Holdings' chairman and CEO Dale Ploughman understands the importance of engaging with China. "We wanted a position in Asia and by having an office 'on the ground' and close to China, we are able to see what is happening and respond more effectively to our customers' needs," he says.
Nasdaq-listed Seanergy Maritime Holdings has expanded significantly since its establishment in 2008. The company virtually tripled its number of vessels by 2010 through the acquisition of Hong Kong-based Maritime Capital Shipping (MCS), a leading provider of international dry-bulk transportation services. Today, the company's fleet comprises 19 dry-bulk carriers (four Capesize, three Panamax, two Supramax, and 10 Handysize vessels) with a capacity of about 1.2 million dead weight tonnes.
Seanergy's major charterers include Clipper Bulk, MUR Shipping, South African Marine Corporation and Oldendorff Carriers. "Fifty per cent of our vessels are trading into China," Ploughman says. "We recognise how important it is for companies such as ours to pursue growth opportunities in the Far East."
Seanergy is committed to expanding its fleet through newly-built vessels, the acquisition of secondhand vessels and is focused on developing long-term partnerships in China.
"When we first entered the market as a public company, we positioned ourselves as a company focused on growth. We have tripled the size of the company in a comparatively short period of time and we intend to continue implementing our growth strategy. While the market is relatively soft at the moment, we are well positioned to take advantage of the anticipated improved market situation and look forward to working ever more closely with China in the future," Ploughman says.