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Year in Review 2021: Shipping

2021 has been an incredibly busy year for the shipping team in SVW. With a large team specialized in shipping matters and transactions, SVW has the capacity and expertise to handle a large number intricate transactions, amongst them debt financing, project financing, leasing, and have assisted in more than 100 sales and purchases of ships in 2021.

The transaction pace and volume of 2021 was the silver lining of the Covid-19 overcast, keeping our clients and us busy and productive. Particularly the container ship market has been steaming hot, with rapidly increasing prices and high transaction volume. The bulker market has also seen the highest prices for the last decade, with correspondingly high transaction volume.

With a large team specialized in shipping transactions SVW has the capacity to handle a large number of transactions and have assisted in more than 100 sales and purchases of ships in 2021. For more insight and details on various issues arising in a sale and purchase transaction, please refer to our series of articles “Short & Sweet: Ship sale and purchase”.

In January 2021 we also saw the consultation draft of a new standard agreement for sale and purchase of ships launched by BIMCO, attempting to offer an alternative to the widely used Norwegian Saleform 2012 from the Norwegian Shipbrokers’ Association, also available through BIMCO. Our comments to the standard can be found here. So far, we are not aware of any launching of this new product. However,the challenges posed by Covid-19 illustrate the need for more tailored solutions to any standard templates in the market.

Covid-19 has also introduced new challenges to completing a sale and purchase of a vessel. Both in respect of practical and logistical issues regarding crew change, inspections etc., but we have also handled covid outbreaks on vessels, delayed vessels, delays or restrictions in supply of necessary spare parts for required repairs, restrictions in required flag state inspections etc. There is still a lack of available standard clauses handling the pandemic and issues arising in respect of a sale and purchase transaction. Different companies, lawyers and brokers apply different wording and standards. We have also our own tailored clauses which are constantly developing along with the new challenges we meet, to addresspandemic and/or force majeure challenges and tailored resolution suggestions in the sale and purchase and chartering transactions.

Just considering our clients’ deal flow it looks like 2022 also will be a very busy year in the sale and purchase market for ships. We wish all our clients and contacts a happy and prosperous 2022 and we thank them for their continued trust and loyalty!