Only three months ago, it looked like we were facing another mild winter with only limited impact on the shipping industry. However, King Bore (a fairy tale character who is believed to be the ruler of cold and northern winds) decided to show us what a normal Finnish winter should look like. The sudden change in the outdoor temperature speeded up the ice formation, and in just a few weeks we saw ice-restrictions in practically all Finnish ports – a good reminder of why we still have to base our fleet on ice classed tonnage.
At the same time as the winter conditions have been slowing down the operations, our contract cargo coverage have increased remarkably compared to last winter. Considering the circumstances, we have managed to meet our contractual obligations fairly well, thanks to a solid proactive operational work. A big thank you also goes to all our customers who have showed flexibility and support for finding creative solutions for the common best in these challenging circumstances.
Although the spring is now progressing fast in the southern parts of Finland, winter conditions and ice-restrictions will remain for still a while, especially in the northern ports. Hence it´s reasonable to predict that this year, the market for ice-classed vessels will remain firm far beyond the Easter.
The last months have indeed been a useful ”brush-up course” in winter trade, which I would say, we passed with good grades. Although I guess we all welcome the spring and open waters, we every now and then need these conditions to keep up our skills and readiness, which makes us a reliable shipping partner all around the year.
Wishing you a nice Easter holiday and a lovely springtime!