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Barry Parker Commentaries

Commoditization, competitive strategy, and consolidation

Mar 2, 2015
Click here to access Commoditization, competitive strategy, and consolidation

Looking in at shipping companies from the outside has its challenges. Businesses that are industrial don’t really reveal much about their inner workings- social media blasts of blue containerships (or FPSOs with good safety records) don’t really count. Indeed, the old adage “loose lips sink ships” , originally applied when shipyards were cranking out T2s and Liberty ships (circa 1940’s) applies just as well in commercial contexts of the business, 70 years later. Sell-side equity analysts have high levels of frustration in dealing with structures that were not built with transparency in mind. Independent analysts (including tanker nerds and those who dabble in writing) can occasionally gain good insights into what companies might do, or why they are doing it. But, such endeavors-whatever the affiliation of the analyst, involve much guesswork, complementing all hard work and financial modeling that goes into pronouncements.

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