Indian shipping corporation Essar Shipping Ltd (ESL) has reported a strong operational performance with a 22% growth in cargo handling in fiscal year 2016-17.
During this period, the company’s fourteen-vessel fleet also grew its capacity utilisation to 94% from 80% seen in the same period a year earlier.
The strong performance comes on the back of an increase in The Baltic Dry Index, a key indicator of freight rates, during the year from an all-time low of 290 in February 2016 to a high of 1,300 in March 2017.
In fiscal year 2017, ESL carried almost 11.5 million tonnes of dry bulk cargo, as against 9.4 million tonnes in the previous financial year.
Additionally, the company said that the highlight of the year was the doubling in coastal cargo movement triggered by the increased capacity utilisation at Essar Steel. The company also benefitted from a considerable growth in backhaul cargo both on the east and west coasts of India because of the all-round growth in Essar Steel.
“Our strategy to have an ideal mix of captive and market cargo has ensured better utilisation of vessels in FY17. The stronger Baltic Dry Index, coupled with increased activity and capacity utilisation at Essar Steel, has also made a positive impact on our toplines,” Ranjit Singh, Executive Director & CEO, said.
Essar Shipping operates a fleet of 14 vessels, including VLCCs, Capesizes, Mini-capesizes, Supramaxes, Handysize bulk carriers, and mini-bulk carriers.