Encouraged by a rising demand from African consumers for mobile phones made in China, as well as by a sharp rise in the demand for commodities in Asia in general, cargo volumes from Asia to Africa are experiencing remarkable growth. In some instances, these incredible traffic figures are increasing two to three times faster than volumes between Africa and Europe; or even Africa and North America. This thriving trade between China and Africa, has created circumstances that have resulted in extremely profitable business opportunities for investors and shipping companies; from all corners of the world.
In Hong Kong for example, Tribini Capital and Mandarin Shipping both purchased container ships from distressed investment firms in Germany, with the intention of immediately chartering the vessels to shipping industry leaders already operating on the busy Asia and Africa trade route. The first two ships acquired by Mandarin are 2,100 TEU container ships equipped with cranes, that are currently sailing the trade route between South China and Africa. The container vessels were purchased because of their ability to serve niche markets across the African continent, where that type of container ship is well-suited for restricted-draft ports and are helpful in places where their cargo handling gear is needed to accommodate the loading and unloading of cargo.
Although neither Tribini Capital nor Mandarin Shipping has expressed an interest in exclusively focusing on the container ship sector of the global shipping industry, they did communicate that they “do see opportunities there, given the current problems in the German KG market” (Mandarin Shipping Director). In fact, Tribini Capital has told their investors that they can expect an internal rate of return of (more than) 20 percent, as a result of these purchases and favorable trade market conditions.
“I don’t think it is the right time for a recovery in shipping, but it is the right time to buy assets.”- Tribini Capital