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Live from SMM Hamburg

Gibdock benefits from stronger German ties

Gibdock benefits from stronger German ties
Returning customers and a new client have given a boost to Gibdock’s repair schedules of German ship managers in the first half of 2016, with sterling’s post Brexit depreciation also sharpening the Gibraltar yard’s competitive edge for the rest of the year.

Gibdock said it has repaired seven German-owned or operated vessels so far this year, including general cargo ships, container carriers, a reefer ship and a bulk carrier. With the exception of a first job for Bernhard Schulte, all projects have involved returning customers.

“Winning every single repair project partly depends on the trading area of the vessel concerned, which is why our favourable location is critical for German owners,” said Richard Beards, managing director of Gibdock.

Beards pointed out that Gibraltar-based businesses, including Gibdock, have not seen any negative consequences after the UK’s decision to leave the EU. Residents of Gibraltar voted overwhelmingly for the UK to remain within EU, with 96% supporting ‘Remain’.

“In fact, so far it has only been positive. The decline in the value of sterling has made the yard more competitive compared with most of our eurozone-based rivals,” he said.

Speaking in the run up to this year’s major maritime industry event, SMM 2016 in Hamburg, Beards said that any reservations German interests may have held after the 23 June vote have been turned on their head.

“For Gibdock, it has always been business as usual; the only real consequence of Brexit so far is that it is business as usual with a newly competitive edge.”

Projects of note for German owners in the first half of the year included an extensive ballast tank cleaning contract undertaken on the containership Las Palmas. The job highlighted the yard’s readiness to handle unusual tasks, involving working alongside contractors to dispose of contaminated ballast water in a cost effective manner.

“Our expectation is that we will be in a strong position in the final quarter of 2016, and will figure strongly in the plans of German owners consider their class renewal work as vessels come off charter,” Beards believed.

Gibdock is exhibiting at SMM 2016 at Hall B3, Stand 205.