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Chelsea taps Japanese shipbuilder for ro-ro plan

/ 05:10 AM January 23, 2018

Chelsea Logistics Holdings Corp. is tapping a Japanese shipbuilder in line with the expansion of its roll-on, roll-off (Ro-Ro) passenger business.

Chelsea Logistics, led by businessman Dennis Uy, said in a stock exchange filing on Monday that it had signed a contract with Japan’s Kegoya Dock Co. Ltd. for the latter to build a new Ro-Ro vessel and an option for another three new vessels to be delivered by 2020.

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“The newly acquired vessels and tugs and the ‘newly built’ vessels, which are soon to be delivered, will bring Chelsea Logistics another step closer to fulfilling its commitment to growth in order to realize more value for our stakeholders,” said Chelsea Logistics president and CEO Chryss Alfonsus V. Damuy.

He was also referring to tugboats recently acquired by Fortis Tugs Corp., one of the companies in the Chelsea Shipping Group.

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New vessels are expected to bring better cash flow and translate to lower operating costs, the company noted.

“We are conscious of our direction and our deliverables to our shareholders, thus we are fast-tracking our fleet expansion, which is aligned with the company’s plans as disclosed during the initial public offering of [Chelsea Logistics] last August 2017,” the company said in its filing.

“Shipping and logistics is not a short-term business as the company has to make substantial capex (capital spending) not limited to acquisition of ships and equipment, before it can start delivering the returns to its shareholders,” it added.

In late 2017, its subsidiary, Trans-Asia Shipping Lines Inc., acquired cargo vessel MV Orient Spirit, which can handle 700 twenty-foot equivalent units. Trans-Asia will operate this vessel by first quarter 2018, it added.

Also in 2017, the logistics group, through its wholly owned subsidiary PNX-Chelsea Shipping, acquired three vessels.

Chelsea Logistics in 2017 also acquired Starlite Ferries Inc., a passenger-cargo operator based in Batangas.

Currently, the company has 15 tankers, eight tugboats, 21

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Ro-Ro and passenger vessels (RoPax) and four cargo ships. Its unit, 2GO Group, has 16 RoPax, five cargo vessels and 10 fast craft vessels.

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