Core Shipping eyes expansion as West African service blossoms
Istanbul-based Core Shipping has seen a consistent increase in activity since it was established in 2015. Over the recent years, the company has carved out a position for itself in the West African market and is planning to expand its service into the region to capitalise on the developments.
Since the kick-off, Core Shipping has been focusing on providing chartering services in niche markets such as mining, agriculture and oil and gas. Over the recent years, the company pounced on the market conditions and established a semi-liner service from the Black Sea and the Mediterranean to West African countries. The service is focusing on transporting bagged minerals, steels, project cargo, dangerous goods and containerised cargoes.
Speaking to Project Cargo Journal, Gökhan Gülcü, chartering manager at Core Shipping, said that the company usually ships steels, pipes, boats as well as heavy and oversized equipment for the oil and gas industry.
“We offer vessel space to our clients, and can carry a mix of cargo. What we focus on is loading bagged minerals or steel parcels as the bottom cargo, this also dictates where the voyage starts from and it is expanded as completion cargo is collected on top,” Gökhan said.
The company currently has a single vessel under its operation, the Si Osiris, a multipurpose vessel with 8,000 dwt, tween deck, equipped with two 150-ton cranes.
The vessel is under the commercial control of Core Shipping since April 2021. “We have a comprehensive relationship with the vessel owner, which involves technical management of the vessel as well,” Gökhan adds.
He further noted that the vessel operates in the trade lane as a semi-liner, however, the current demand is much higher than a single vessel can handle. The company is therefore looking to increase the size of its controlled fleet with two more vessels.
This would enable the company to increase the frequency of its sailings and open the door to involvement in the early tender stages of a number of projects under development in West Africa.
“Being active in the tender process is difficult when the vessel has a service frequency of up to three months. To make sure we can bid for tenders, and can position a vessel when the cargo is ready for shipping, we are looking to increase our sailing frequency to at least one per month,” Gökhan stressed.
New service routes in sight
According to Gökhan, Core Shipping is looking to secure the services of two MPP’s, one vessel of around 8,000 dwt geared and another one of around 4,000 to 5,000 dwt gearless. Negotiations are already ongoing with shipowners of potential options.
In addition to expanding the company’s service frequency to West Africa at first, there may be some new routes on the horizon. “Vessels will be trading between Mediterranean and West Africa,” Gökhan says, adding that the two additional ships could also enable the company to look into expanding its service routes.