As part of a necessary consolidation of the European short sea shipping market, Norway’s Wilson ASA and Germany’s Arkon Shipping GmbH & Co. KG have signed an agreement making the combined systems the largest short sea player in Europe, indicated a joint press release.
Wilson will take about 20 dry bulk carriers on a long-term lease from Arkons’ represented coaster fleet, including state of the art Hanse Eco newbuildings with delivery in 2 years’ time. Wilson will be ready to perform all contracts and client commitments currently performed by Arkon. As an exclusive Commercial Representative, Arkon will become an integrated part of Wilsons chartering system and handle export fixtures for the whole Wilson fleet in the Mediterranean.
“A larger system and market organization will increase efficiency, reduce overall ballast, improve opex (operating expenses) and extend the European shipping network in line with the expansion strategy of the Wilson Group,” said the press release.
“This agreement will secure capacity, strengthen the logistic systems, and provide security for the clients. The combined logistic systems will also be better prepared to meet new and stricter environmental requirements from the European industry going forward. The agreement underpins the common long-term belief in the market despite the Covid-19 pandemic.”
The agreement is subject to approval from the relevant authorities and is scheduled to be implemented during the second half of 2020, with start-up earliest September 1, 2020.
Following regulatory approval, Wilson will operate a fleet of more than 130 ships, of which 92 are owner-controlled.