Easterly creates new maritime investment company

Easterly Asset Management has unveiled Maritime Logistics Equity Partners (MLEP), a new company formed to take advantage of opportunities in international shipping markets, including the chemical tanker shipping sector that is projected to reach $9.5 billion by 2026.

Illustration. Image by Navingo

“There is a compelling opportunity to invest in pre-owned chemical tankers, given the limited supply and growing demand for the vessels, a low future orderbook for shipping construction and the expansion of chemical trade lanes,” Darrell Crate, Managing Principal of Easterly Asset Management and MLEP’s Chief Executive Officer, explained.

“Like the oceans themselves, the opportunities are vast.”

In its first transaction, MLEP acquired two stainless steel chemical tankers, the Easterly Beech Galaxy and the Easterly Lime Galaxy, from CIDO Shipping, built in 2007 and 2008, respectively.

“MLEP has recently acquired two additional vessels and is actively looking to acquire more stainless-steel tonnage of all sizes aged 10-15 years,” Crate added.

MLEP intends to acquire more stainless steel vessels by the end of 2021. By acquiring previously owned tankers to meet increased demand, MLEP can provide investors with an attractive level of regular, growing income as well as capital returns.

“Chemical tankers may not be glamorous, but they keep the global economy humming and investors happy with a steady stream of income,” Crate further said.

MLEP is responding to industry trends, including a decline in the building of chemical tankers intended for the transport of bulk liquids such as palm oil, feedstock and other commodities. Following a construction boom that peaked in 2008, shipbuilders are now focused on building other tanker types and sizes.

With increasing chemical production, tight ship supply and a lack of liquidity in the capital markets for new tankers, there is growing demand for such vessels. MLEP is acquiring tankers built during the boom but with years of productive life remaining and putting them out for hire through WOMAR.

“A tight shipping supply, combined with increased global chemical production, is a powerful tailwind for existing vessels.”

MLEP will place all of its acquired vessel into WOMAR’s Tanker Pools.