German shipbroker Hanse Bereederung is targeting a move into the bulker sector in healthy markets.
The in-house Schoeller Group and third-party tonnage broker is a specialist in boxships and multipurpose (MPP) vessels.
Alex Karydis, director of chartering and sale and purchase (S&P) at Bereederung, told TradeWinds: "We want to explore a little bit the possibilities. We are not so well known in the bulk sectors."
He said Bereederung is thinking about how it can expand in the dry arena and explore the numerous possibilities the trades offer.
"We are medium-sized with the capacity to expand," Karydis said.
But containerships will not be neglected.
Michael Zankl, managing director of chartering and S&P at Bereederung, said: "Our vision is to grow and expand our fleet via dedicated container pools or through exclusive agreements."
He sees pools as tools to minimise risks and a solution favoured by some investors and owners.
"The ideal time for new pools to be created should be now, during the good market, to prepare for the time after the 'time of enjoyment'," he said.
Zankl added that having one of the biggest ship managers — Schoeller-owned Columbia Shipmanagement — at its backer means Bereederung can offer clients the "all-round carefree package".
Claudia Paschkewitz, managing director of operations at Bereederung, added: "We intend to strengthen on S&P and chartering. We will have a close look at that and see how it develops."
Hamburg-based Bereederung currently comprises a team of eight staff.
"What is special is we are very balanced, we have 50% male and 50% female," Paschkewitz said.
"You don't find this in shipping normally. We lead the company with one female, one male; one coming from the operations side, one from the chartering side. This makes a very good team."
The company's managing director has been with the broker for 30 years, while Zankl has now topped that.
In addition, Karydis has clocked up a decade with Bereederung.
Karydis stresses the broker's independence.
He told TradeWinds that there had been proposals to link up with other companies in the past.
"But we decided to go our own path," he said.
This way, the company never has to decide which of two partners' ships to fix, and can stay open to business for everybody.
"We don't have a hidden agenda," Karydis said.
Zankl insisted the current S&P market is a very interesting one.
"You can easily double your investment from two or three years ago," he said.
Good to see a busy market
"It's very nice to see how active the big liner companies are in secondhand S&P [market], like Wan Hai, MSC, TS Lines. This is one more reason for us to try to expand our S&P department."
Karydis added: "As a Greek, these days I would definitely do the best I can to sell. There are, however, some very optimistic people who are willing to buy.
"But every week there is a new threshold for freights and prices."
However, Bereederung sees a potential change in market dynamics when vaccines are fully rolled out.
"I'm not expecting overcapacity, which means we will not go to the lamentable and ridiculous freight rates of 2017 and 2018," Karydis said.
"The market will reach a certain balance that will make sense finally to trade containerships."