Another Shipping Group Falls Foul of Economic Woes as Heavy Lift Ocean Freight Carrier Fails

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

GERMANY – Hansa Heavy Lift, the ocean project freight carrier, has become the latest victim of the economic downturn in the global shipping industry, filing for insolvency after years of financial troubles which has seen the Hamburg based heavy freight transport specialist steadily reduce its fleet from 21 vessel in 2015 to 11 as of December 2018.

Hansa Heavy Lift was formed in 2011 from the ashes of the insolvent Beluga Shipping, one of the most inventive of companies who pioneered the use of ‘skysails’ and the North East Passage, and in which US financial investor, Oaktree Capital Management, had invested heavily in up to 2010, prior to the Bremen based carrier's bankruptcy.

Oaktree continued its investment forward into Hansa and in a statement to local press a spokesman for the US group said that the problems of the heavy lift sector meant the finance group could no longer support Hansa.

In September rival German heavy lift company Zeaborn, which got its stake in the market when it picked up Rickmers Linie from the similarly troubled parent group, were rumoured to be looking to acquire Hansa, something executives from both companies would neither confirm or deny. Zeaborn then went on to consolidate its fleet by combining with the US group Intermarine to form Zeamarine.

In a filing with the German insolvency register, Dr. Christoph Morgen of law firm Brinkmann & Partner has been named as the Insolvency Administrator to handle proceedings going forward. Morgan had previously been Chief Insolvency Officer at Rickmers Holding, which last year filed for bankruptcy.