Essar Shipping Limited (ESL), one of India’s leading shipping companies, has added a 74,000 dwt Panamax vessel to its fleet. As a result, ESL now has a fleet of 14 vessels, including VLCCs and Cape-size, Panamax, Supramax and Handysize bulkers, with a combined dwt capacity of 1.6 million and an average age of 12 years.
The newly acquired, 2000-built Panamax bulk carrier is being rechristened Mahavir and will be deployed to transport pellets, coal and limestone from Essar Steel’s plant in Paradip to Hazira. ESL recently decommissioned a 28-year older bulker, Chandi Prasad, and Mahavir is considered a perfect replacement.
In the last financial year, 2016-17, ESL reported a 22% growth in cargo handling, while its capacity utilisation moved up to 94% from 80% the year before. ESL capacity is deployed using an optimal mix of spot markets, long-term contracts and COAs, with the aim of maximising profitability and insulating the company from market volatility.