Sooty Solutions - Burnaby BC Consulting Company - Advising Business Managers on Security, Information Technology, Business Process Performance, & Best Practices
Sooty HomeContractors are BetterThe Sooty ApproachLong Range PlanningThe Sooty PartnersContact Us

Sooty's Table of Shipping Company Candidates

If this is your first time here please read the explanation on why these shipping companies were selected. You should understand that Sooty is a "value investor" with a "buy and hold" strategy and a two year+ planning horizon. If you are a day trader with technical strategy looking for momentum or short plays you will find Sooty's strategy boring.

The following is a list of candidates for your investigation. Once again Sooty is NOT recommending you buy these (nor does Sooty expect a cut if you make a lot of money on them). These are only stocks listed on the NYSX and the NASDAQ so there are relatively few to choose from. These represent less than 5% of the shippers that can be found on international exchanges but if you are Canadian and interested in tax sheltered investments these are about all you get.

Clicking the column header will sort by that column. A short comment about the column will appear if you move the mouse over a column header.

Table last updated . A CSV spreadsheet of shipping companies with more detailed information is available at this link.

The amount of rent a shipper can get is strongly influenced by the Baltic Dry Index. This index is reported by the London based Baltic Exchange which has been a trading floor for shipping contracts since 1744. It only has 20 employees and 550 members but its rates are used by most of the shipping industry to set rates.

The index and typical rents for the Capesize (over 80,000 tons), Panamax (60-80K tons and fits through the Panama Canal), Supramax (45-59K tons), and Handysize (15-44 tons) standard ship sizes is this Baltic Dry Index - Graphs and Data link.

How the Table was Created - a Programmers View

To acquire, convert, reconcile and store the information to support this site is a fairly involved process. It would be nice if standards for the semantic web were in place and Sooty's computers could talk directly to the information sources. I am sure one could purchase an information feed in XML format but that would violate the rule that one should not pay for advice on public information. Besides it is a lot more interesting to build the robots that scrape the websites, tinker with the parsers that strip out the data from the html, and design the database and analysis programs that find information on the shipping industry.

Sooty does not have time to do the work by hand so the whole process is automated:
  1. At 8:00 AM Pacific Time a C++ robot visits pages on the website and scrapes it for a current information on a list of shipping companies trading on the NYSX and NASDAQ exchanges.

  2. The company performance information updates records in a MySQL database.

  3. A VBScript extracts the database records into an Excel spreadsheet and builds the javascript code that support the table at the top of this page.

  4. At 8:00 AM Pacific Time (3:00 PM in London Time) a VBScript goes out to (one of the large NASDAQ listed companies) and gets the daily report of the Baltic Dry Index. The data is parsed and loaded into a growing MySQL archival database. The data is available between 5:00 AM and 6:00 AM but the automated process leaves a few hours slack in the schedule. The daily report is free at DryShips but would cost about £2000 per year to get archived market information directly from the Baltic Exchange. Of course the Baltic Exchange information also provides realtime details on all transactions which would be valuable to a trader (but of less interest to an investor).

  5. Reporting programs then extract data from the MySQL database to create the CVS spreadsheet and gnuplot creates the BDI and TCE graphs for the BDI page.

Sooty only started gathering BDI information in February 2009. To provide an archive of daily reports before this date programs were written to parse various PDF reports and investor blogs (mostly Chinese) that still hold historical information. There are gaps in the data and Sooty is continuously Googling for old sites that have data to fill the gaps.

Currently the Baltic index (BDI) and index broken by ship size (BCI, BSI and BPI) have been rebuilt back to July 2007. The TCE data is complete for 2009 but spotty before 2009. The TCE (time-charter equivalent) is the daily rate per ship less voyage expenses during a period divided by the number of operating days during the period. The TCE not an index but an example of the $US value of rents a shipping company can expect for each ship size(BCI_TCE, BSI_TCE, BPI_TCE).

Handysize rates are no longer reported by the Baltic Exchange (as of 2005) because there are a lot more ships in the Handysize class and good statistics on rents are difficult to collect. There are some companies like FreeSeas that rent Handysize exclusively so rents on this class are important to the investor. Typically the Handysize rate is about 50% of the Supramax and moves with that index.