> New player in an aging world fleet
Within the foreseeable future, the cargo capacity of the CFL fleet will reach a total of approximately 120.000 DWT. This makes us a mid-range player in the international field.
The combined effect of internationalisation and the traditional cyclic development of freight charges has led to large-scale consolidation in the ocean shipping industry. In their drive for improved economies of scale in recent years, many shipping companies have fused, taken over other companies or been taken over. As a result, the number of shipping companies with comparable multipurpose ships is now limited. Practically speaking, in Western Europe the only companies active in the same multi-purpose segment are Clipper Group, Briese/BBC, Wagenborg, Spliethoff, Carisbooke and Peter Doehle.
Worldwide, the short-sea fleet (5000 to 25.000 DWT) amounts to an estimated 4500 ships and a combined freight capacity of 56,000,000 DWT. It is well worth noting that the average age of the ships is high, with three quarters of seafaring ships in this class being 20 years or older. Given that a ship has maximum life cycle of 25 years (for project freight, this figure is 20 years), we are witnessing the development of a very extensive and – particularly for distinctive types of ship – favourable replacement market.
This potential adds another positive dimension to CFL. With an average age of less than two years, our ships make up the youngest fleet in the international shipping world.
> Sustainable CFL
CFL aims to reduce the carbon footprint of all its activities, at all levels. We treat sustainable operation as a key task within the organisation and we do everything in our power to be a business partner that is fully conscious of both its social and environmental responsibilities.
The composition of our fleet is an example of this awareness. The fact that sustainability is playing an increasingly important role in international ocean transport was an important consideration in our decision to design, or help to design, and develop our ships.
Above all, there are the increasingly prescriptive legislative and regulatory measures. The International Maritime Organization (IMO), for example, requires that ports all over the world charge higher harbour dues for polluting ships: ships that do not satisfy the annually tightened requirements pertaining to the reduction of CO2 emissions and fuel consumption. After 2020, such ships may even be refused entry.
Equally important is the fact that operators and freight agents are demanding ever-higher environmental performance from their carriers and that improved fuel efficiency translates into permanently lower transportation costs and thus competitive rates.
It was, then, also economic reality that required CFL to devote a great deal of attention to the maximisation of sustainability in its new-build designs. Our Jumbo 6500s and Sole 10,000s are setting the tone in this area. Thanks to the implementation of the most up-to-date technology, both types of ship can operate a main motor with considerably lower power and fuel consumption than other motors with a similar capacity. On balance, a CFL ship uses 20 to 30 per cent less fuel and can use IFO 380. Not only does this mean that emissions of particles and greenhouse gases are easily within international allowances, but also that many thousands of euros are saved in energy costs.
Moreover, it gives us a head start in the transportation from and to ecologically vulnerable areas. Local authorities are expected to set increasingly stringent sustainability requirements on shipping – an industry that is widely regarded as one of the most serious polluters in international transport. Given the now inevitable energy transition, the demand for flexible and multimodal tonnage is set to grow, especially in these areas.
> Sole 10.000: the ideal workhorse
CFL and partner Peters Shipyards designed and developed the Sole 10,000 to be the ideal workhorse among ocean-going vessels. Its unique design combines several benefits: it capitalises on the expected changes in demand for flexible tonnage, it is a testament to daring and innovative ship design, it draws on an awareness of the need for more sustainable transportation solutions, and it is the distillation of many years experience building multi-purpose ships.
The Sole 10,000 is in many ways an entirely new type of ship. With a length of 114m, a width of 17m and a draught of 7.9m, it is in any case the largest model that has ever rolled off the slipway at Peters Shipyards in Kampen, the Netherlands. The ship is equipped with a strait bow, rather than the usual bulbous bow. The superstructure is mirrored and reversed and therefore located further sternwards. Most of the tanks are located at the sides of the ship. These adaptations mean that streamlining has been improved, and there is more space created below decks.
The most striking new feature of the Sole 10,000 is its 70.5m long and 15m wide hold. This makes the ship a prime candidate for transporting high-value project cargoes of unusual dimensions, such as wind turbines, electricity masts (or their components) and sections of seagoing vessels or offshore installations.
The Sole 10,000 can process cargoes such as these without their having to be dismantled – and below deck, too. This makes it the ship more attractive from an insurance perspective; for vulnerable capital goods, below-deck storage is even a prerequisite. The ship’s length and relatively shallow draught allow it to transport goods to destinations that would be literally inaccessible to other vessels with a comparable hold area. A ship with a comparably large hold is 150m long or more. Furthermore, the Sole’s portside NMF deck cranes (each with an SWT of 80 tonnes; so 160 tonnes combined) can transfer cargoes at ports with a limited infrastructure.
> More sustainable, but same performance
What's more, the box-shaped hold of the Sole 10,000, with its container capacity of 426 TEU (232 TEU below deck, 194 TEU above deck), is suitable for the transportation of all forms of dry bulk cargo. Another design innovation, overhanging deck hatches, increases by the deck area available for deck cargoes by 15 per cent. This is aimed at taking advantage of the growing market for affordable yacht transport. Just like the Jumbo 6500, which served as the inspiration that the Sole 10,000, the bow and hull on this vessel are reinforced to allow for the transportation of heavy cargoes.
The Sole 10,000 also distinguishes itself in the areas of sustainability and energy efficiency. It's relatively low weight, low resistance and superior seafaring qualities mean a motor with a capacity of 4000 kWh suffices. At a cruise speed of 14kn, fuel consumption is 20 to 30 per cent lower than with comparable vessels. This yields a saving of $3000 per day, in addition to considerably lowering the impact on the environment. Furthermore, the Sole 10,000 uses cheaper IFO 380 heavy fuel oil.
> Sixth and last Sole delivered to CFL
In September 2010 the first Sole 10,000, the Momentum Scan, rolled off the slipway at Peters Shipyards in Kampen, becoming fully operational at the end of October. Since then the Marvel Scan, Motion Scan, Martini Scan and Industrial More were delivered to CFL, with last but not least the Industrial Merchant on December 3rd 2013.
CFL and the shipping analysts and brokers consulted are optimistic about the returns on the fleet expansion. The higher design and construction costs for a ship developed entirely in the Netherlands will be more than compensated for by the increased commercial application, lower energy costs, and robust reputation of an innovative and sustainable ship type and its longer economic life cycle. Furthermore, the average time charter equivalent or TCE (return) of comparable project-oriented ships has remained reasonably stable, even at the low-point of the economic crisis.
The actual yield of the Sole 10,000 will also benefit from the greatly increased expected salvage value. According to present prognoses, in 2020 it may be double that of other, similar-sized multi-purpose vessels from less well-reputed builders in less flexible, versatile and fuel-efficient configurations.
Additionally, the price-raising effect will be boosted by the fact that the Sole 10,000 will in time become a scarce capital good. Lloyd's register has issued a classification with an expiry date. This means that changing legislation will allow only for a limited series of these ships to be produced. Furthermore, CFL and Peters Shipyards own patents on several crucial components of the design.
CFL’s prize workhorse will therefore eventually become a collector's item.