Despite the pandemic, Alang beached 187 ships for recycling

2021-04-10 15:34:17 Shipping News

Alang-Sosiya in Gujarat’s Bhavnagar district – home to the world’s largest stretch of ship-breaking facilities – beached 187 ships for recycling in FY21 compared to 202 ships in the previous year, as the ship dismantling activity was hit by the pandemic-induced lockdown

Alang managed to get steady business despite the pandemic

“Alang managed to get steady business despite the pandemic,” said Anand Hiremath, Head, Research and Development and Lead Coordinator, Responsible Ship Recycling at Global Marketing Systems, Inc, (GMS), the world’s biggest cash buyer of ships for demolition.

In the wake of the pandemic, Alang was hit by an exodus of migrants from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Odisha, who make up for some 80 per cent of the 20,000 workers directly employed in the ship-breaking plots.

Ship recycling yards ground to a halt in the first five months of FY21, only to pick up pace between October 2020 and January 2021.

While only four ships were beached in April 2020 and five in May, 15 were beached in October, 19 in November, 28 in December, 26 in January, 12 in February and 10 in March.

The container ships were sold for scrapping in the beginning of the year due to low freight rates

Ironically, of the 187 ships beached in FY21, 41 were container ships, accounting for 22 per cent of the ships beached. The container ships were sold for scrapping in the beginning of the year due to low freight rates. But, since June 2021, rates for container shipping have soared on the back of an acute shortage of containers.

General cargo ships accounted for 7 per cent of the total ships beached in FY21, followed by chemical tankers and vehicle carriers at 6 per cent each, while tugs made up for 5 per cent.

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