Bremen-based shipping company Candler orders first own series of newbuildings

Bremen-based shipping company Candler Schiffahrt, which specialises in project and bulk cargo, has placed orders for up to six multipurpose freighters in China.

This is the first newbuilding program in the company’s 30-year history. The shipyard for the Sdari 12000 vessels with a lifting capacity of 12,100 dwt and two combinable cranes with a lifting capacity of 80 tons each is JiangXi New Jiangzhou Shipbuilding Heavy Industry. [ds_preview]

The shipping company has initially placed a firm order for four units and secured options for two more. Candler Managing Director Jonas Keller is confident that the latter will also be converted into firm orders. “This is a milestone for us,” says the manager, who also holds shares in the company alongside the Wadephul family.

Candler switches from second-hand to new-build tonnage

Until now, Candler had always relied on second-hand ships, but the supply on the second-hand market is now very thin. “And when ships do become available there, they are expensive.” In view of new emissions and environmental regulations such as the Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII), the shipping company also needs to improve the efficiency of its fleet “so that we have a reasonable rating in our trades in the long term.”

This is how the company came up with the idea for the new-build program last year. Through the broker Howe Robinson, contact was made with JiangXi New Jiangzhou Shipbuilding Heavy Industry, Keller explains. The shipyard had lain idle for years, but had previously built ships for shipping companies such as Beluga and Bockstiegel. The quality shown at the time and the planned rapid completion of all six newbuilds in 2026 were convincing. “This is an opportunity that we want to seize,” says Keller.

Candler sticks with conventional propulsion

The new ships have been designed as “solid workhorses” that have to load bulk goods in addition to project cargo. The fleet’s operational areas are mainly in the Atlantic – between Europe and the Mediterranean, West Africa and the north coast of South America. Candler takes care of the tramp chartering itself. “We want to operate the ships ourselves in our trades, not give them to time charters,” Keller clarifies.

The newbuildings are intended to replace the six ageing, somewhat smaller existing ships with carrying capacities of between around 8,000 dwt and 10,500 dwt. The shipping company is expecting considerable savings in operating and voyage costs from the new additions. Their fuel consumption is expected to be only 8 to 8.5 tons per day at a speed of 11.5 knots – compared to 13 tons at 11 knots on the smaller ships today.

The Bremen-based company does not want to experiment with the propulsion concept. The newbuildings will be equipped with conventional main engines for diesel/heavy oil operation. “As a tramp shipowner, dual-fuel engines for methanol or ammonia are not an option for us due to the lack of predictability in the trades,” says Keller. In addition, alternative fuels such as green methanol or ammonia are not expected to be available in Candler’s typical sailing areas. “In places like Takoradi or Guyana, this is very unlikely.” (mph)

Large ships or small ships? Standard ships or special ships? New ships or “old” ships? In the MPP industry, some offices are planning fleet modernisation with strategic considerations in mind – or postponing it. Hamburg-based broker Toepfer Transport continues to observe strong demand in the market for “classic workhorses” in various configurations. Analysts Yorck Niclas Prehm and Sabine Kilper discuss their assessments and expectations in detail in the latest episode of the HANSA podcast. They talk about different ship types, market demand, fleet development and the evolution of the F-type, competition from other shipping markets, special ships such as deck carriers and the framework and investment conditions for newbuildings. Listen to the entire episode here with many more assessments and insights:

Prehm Kilper Toepfer MPP Podcast 1

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Caption: View from the bridge of the Candler freighter "Juno" (8,265 dwt) on its voyage through the Bay of Biscay