CHINA Navigation Company has announced it will separate its dry bulk shipping activities from its liner shipping and fleet management business.

The move is to result in the establishment of Swire Bulk as a standalone privately held company based in Singapore.

CNCo established Swire Bulk as a division in 2012.

Following the acquisition of Hamburg Süd Tramp from Maersk in 2019, Swire Bulk has become, according to the company, the largest part of CNCo’s business, with a fleet of up to 150 vessels mostly in the handysize and supra/ultramax sectors.

“While it has been a difficult dry bulk market over the last few years, Swire Bulk has built an excellent reputation in the dry bulk sector in a relatively short period of time,” said CNCo chairman Sam Swire.

“Setting up Swire Bulk as a standalone business will give it the independence required for its continued development as a high-quality global dry bulk operator,” he said.

“Market leadership in terms of the safety & quality of our operation and our sustainability commitments & initiatives with our partners will remain central to Swire Bulk’s business strategy.”

Swire Bulk general manager Rob Aarvold said Swire Bulk had built an experienced and high-performing team with more than 100 employees across nine offices around the world.

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John Swire & Sons Ltd is to remain the ultimate parent company for Swire Bulk.

The target date for the separation is the 1 January 2021.

CNCo and Swire Bulk are to continue to share certain service activities following the transition including technical management services for some of its owned fleet.

An announcement is to be made about a new CEO for Swire Bulk soon.

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