MUMBAI: Essar Shipping aims to increase third-party cargo handling to 50% of its total revenue by 2020 from 30% at present, as the company engages with companies in India and the Gulf, trying to make up for loss of captive business after the parent group’s oil refining company was sold.
“We are working with steel companies, not just in India but also Qatar and Bahrain among other Middle Eastern markets. We are focusing a lot on the Gulf areas which are in close proximity to us,” CEO Ranjit Singh said recently.
The company needs to look for new clients with a chunk of its captive business gone. Essar Oil was sold to Russian oil giant Rosneft, fund UCP and Swiss commodities trader Trafigura for $12.9 billion last year.
Essar Shipping handled 13.06 million tonnes of cargo in FY17 and registered a 28% growth in total cargo tonnage in the third quarter of FY18. The company is set to increase capacity from 15-16 million tonnes to 20-21million tonnes by FY19 with increase in tonnage and higher operational efficiency.
The company operates a fleet of 14 ships that include two VLCCs, one capesize ship, six mini-capesize ships, one panamax bulk carrier, two supramax bulk carriers and two 13,000 dead weight tonnage (DWT) general cargo ships. Analysts said getting fresh third party business wouldn’t be so easy in these times of still weak economic activity and oversupply in shipping capacity.