Photo by Ian Taylor on Unsplash

Houthi/Yemeni pirates save Israeli and World shipping.

Shipping investors can’t thank them enough.

Yaakov C Lui-Hyden
4 min readDec 16, 2023

--

Ever since the end of Covid, container shipping has been in the doldrums. With no bored people sitting at home any longer ordering online, and Chinese ports not worrying about waves of plague, Container prices have crashed.

Israeli shipping companies like Zim, who had enjoyed share prices $70+ and paid fat dividends, found their share price a tenth of that just a few years later.

The price per container was at or below break even for many operators. Only tanker fleets were doing well with a resurging oil price. Now that that has cooled too, they were also seeing a dent in profitability.

Enter Yemen, saviour of us shipping investor all. Attacking and capturing ships, some Israeli and many not, doesn’t have the effect they think it has.

Let’s look at the shipping industry and how it makes money:

The container leasing companies:

There has been a lot of consolidation of these companies of late and two of the most prominent names were taken private. TGH was bought by Stonepeak for $7.4 Billion, Triton(I was previously a shareholder) sold to Brookfield(I am a shareholder) for $13.3 Billion. These companies lease their containers to shipping companies on long term leases over many years, creating a fantastic revenue stream.

Steaming miles are how far a ship has to travel to deliver its cargo. If steaming miles of a container ship increases, that means those containers are not available for the company for other voyages. Thus they need more containers-and fight with others to obtain them- higher prices. Thus a win for container shipping companies. Those prices are passed on to consumers in all markets and can feed into inflation, but the container company is happy and can raise a toast to the Yemeni.

Container ship Lessors:

Like the container lessors, the Container ship lessors also benefit from increased steaming miles. They have contracts with shipping companies that can be 5 or 10 years or more. Prominent companies in this space are DAC and GSL (SFL also another player but has a mix of Containers and Tankers). They own the ship, and the…

--

--

Yaakov C Lui-Hyden

Yaakov is a world traveller and is accused of being an Australian. Published several novels. He writes about travel, writing, geopolitics and trading.