How Great Eastern and Shipping Corp stayed afloat amid global challenges

In many ways, there are similarities between Great Eastern Shipping (GE) and Shipping Corporation of India (SCI). Both are great survivors of the Indian shipping industry. Despite turbulent times in global markets, both the companies continue to hold their heads above water.

One reason for this is that they have well diversified fleets. Take a look at the fleet that GE has. It has crude oil carriers, product carriers, LPG carriers and dry bulk carriers. Collectively, it has 49 ships which account for 3.98 million DWT (dead weight tonnage).

SCI too is well diversified. It too has tankers (for crude oil, products, LPG, LNG, and VLCCs). It has bulk carriers, liners and offshore supply vehicles.  Collectively, it has 63 vessels with a combined DWT of 5.68 million tonnes. But some of its vessels are quite old and are now being scrapped.

Having a diversified fleet helps because when one type of cargo faces difficult market conditions, another vessel type helps keep business afloat.  Both companies have been astute in the selection of vessels they own, and both have shown tremendous resilience in charting their course during tough times for global shipping.

Both are beneficiaries of India's coastal traffic. This has grown in recent years essentially as more ports and terminals have begun to dot India's 7,500 km coastline, and because linkages with the hinterland have become effective and meaningful. The role of the newly-formed Indian Ports Rail Corporation Ltd (IPRCL), which was create....

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