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Media Mentions

Tradewinds: Buyer Beware
December 12, 2014
"According to Poten & Partners, uncoated panamaxes are now a minority, which is why the future is looking increasingly uncertain for tonnage that is still dedicated to the carriage of crude. In a weekly industry briefing the brokerage noted that this corner of the market has changed considerably over the past ten years but continues to be driven, in large part, by activity in the west coast of the Americas and Caribbean. While this is consistent Poten also pointed out that the overall volume of dirty panamax spot fixtures has 'declined dramatically' since the start of the last decade.

"In 2002 the firm claims approximately 1,400 fixtures were sealed over the course of that year. In 2013 there were slightly more than 600 and the tally for 2014 currently stands at 430. The company attributed this trend to changes in the fuel oil market and a shift in trading patterns on the west coast of the US, Central and South America. In addition to the sharp decline in activity Poten argued that the orderbook reflects what it described as 'diminishing opportunities' for tonnage involved in the dirty panamax trade.

“'Only about 25% of the existing fleet is uncoated and, according to our information, 35 of the 37 panamax vessels on order are coated tankers,' it added.

"Won’t disappear

"While the outlook looks bleak the brokerage was quick to point out that this doesn’t mean the segment will disappear altogether since panamaxes are well-suited for certain ports in South America and the Caribbean because of their size. 'Also, when the crude aframax market skyrockets, panamaxes may be drawn into the dirty trade, since all coated vessels have that flexibility,' the company continued, adding: 'So what is the owner of a dirty panamax tanker to do? Stay close to the key charterers that trade to some of the restricted ports around the Americas, try to take advantage of the Panama Canal restrictions while they last, and if somebody for some reason wants to buy your vessel… consider their offer carefully!'"
 
Lloyd's List: New Worries for Tanker Recovery as Suezmax Orderbook Grows
December 09, 2014
"Fixtures from the Middle East Gulf could top 530 this year, nearly double the number five years ago, Poten & Partners has forecast."
 
Tradewinds: OPEC Moves Generates Hope for Sustained Tanker Recovery
December 05, 2014
“'Earlier in the year, when the rates were lower, slow steaming made more sense as the additional revenue that could be earned during the additional 3.9 ballasting days was lower than the fuel savings. At current market rates and lower bunker prices, this situation has shifted,' said Poten & Partners."
 
Hellenic Shipping News: Tanker Market's Rebound is Due to Strong Demand and Lack of Tonnage Supply
December 02, 2014
"Limited fleet growth, coupled with strong demand from nations such as India and China have been the main driving forces behind the rebound of tanker rates over the course of the past few months. According to recent reports from shipbroker Poten & Partners, since the summer of 2013, VLCCs on the AG-East route, for example, have returned $30,500/day year-to-date versus $12,300/day during the same period of 2013."
 
Ship & Bunker: Plummeting Crude, Bunker Prices Unlikely to Change Slow Steaming Practices
December 01, 2014
"But the picture is slightly more nuanced in the large tanker sector, said shipbroker Poten & Partners. 'Earlier in the year, when the rates were lower, slow steaming made more sense as the additional revenue that could be earned during the additional 3.9 ballasting days was lower than the fuel savings,' it explained in its weekly report. 'At current market rates and lower bunker prices, this situation has shifted. Increasing the ballast speed could prove to be beneficial.'"
 
Tradewinds: US Brokers Split Over Best Way Forward in Consolidation Climate
November 28, 2014
"Veteran broker Michael Tusiani of Poten & Partners is one who touts the current format and explains how it has evolved — or failed to evolve. Asked, for instance, whether US houses can compete with the Europeans, he was blunt.

"'Of course, we can and we do,' Tusiani said. 'While some European firms think bigger is better, we do not.' Poten’s goals, he explains, are to recruit top talent, develop what he calls deep vertical expertise and to continuously invest in a platform of research, data, technology and support services. 'Firms need to be large enough to reach and support these key objectives but there is certainly an inflection point when they become too big,' he argued. 'When that occurs, they can no longer control the quality of their services and they tend to create silos of knowledge in which individuals fail to properly communicate and share ideas on a confidential basis.'

"Mergers among the US firms — which include houses such as Poten, Charles R Weber, MJLF, McQuilling and Odin Marine — have been discussed over the years but quickly met obstacles', he says.'Mergers are always difficult but even more so with brokerage and consulting firms,' he said. 'Each generally has a unique culture and compensation philosophy. Further, overlapping account coverage generally leads to layoffs and locating the office can be a problem. With offices spread among Houston, Manhattan, Connecticut and Long Island, brokers often have selected locations close to their homes. Most focus on tankers, so mergers are unlikely to result in significant value creation,' Tusiani said.

"'There have been discussions between US firms over the years but from my experience they have not lasted beyond one or two meetings', he said. 'Understandably, the brokers do not want to extend their commutes and give up accounts. Also, there has been a lack of confidence as to whether a combination would add sufficient value to make the effort worth it, and a general lack of trust in the future compensation and other policies of the new entity. There will be talks but a "win-win" may be difficult to achieve', he said."
 
Lloyd's List: VLCC Earnings Return to $50,000 a Day of Record Fixtures
November 26, 2014
"Growing volumes of African crude are moving to Asian countries such as China and India , according to Poten & Partners."
 
IHS Maritime 360: West Africa Crude Market Adjusts to Reduced US Demand
November 25, 2014
"European importers see west African crude providing the best netbacks-versus-alternative grades, such as Urals, according to Poten & Partners."
 
CNBC: Does the Keystone Pipeline Really Matter?
November 20, 2014
"Does the Keystone pipeline really matter? Jason Feer, Head of Business Intelligence at Poten & Partners, discusses the significance of the Keystone XL pipeline following the rejection of the bill by the U.S. Senate on Tuesday."
 
Lloyd's List: VLCC Earnings Flatten as other Crude Tanker Segments Soar
November 19, 2014
"This limited fleet growth was highlighted recently by US broker and consultancy Poten & Partners. The global fleet stands at 631, only slightly up from 628 in 2013, according to Poten."
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