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Paragon Shipping Inc.  (PRGN)
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    Sector  Transportation    Industry Marine Transportation


Paragon Shipping Inc.

Business Description

The global drybulk carrier fleet may be divided into seven categories based on a vessel's carrying capacity. These categories consist of:

Very Large Ore Carriers (VLOC) have a carrying capacity of more than 200,000 dwt and are a comparatively new sector of the drybulk carrier fleet. VLOCs are built to exploit economies of scale on long-haul iron ore routes.

Capesize vessels have a carrying capacity of 110,000-199,999 dwt. Only the largest ports around the world possess the infrastructure to accommodate vessels of this size. Capesize vessels are primarily used to transport iron ore or coal and, to a much lesser extent, grains, primarily on long-haul routes.

Post-Panamax vessels have a carrying capacity of 90,000-109,999 dwt. These vessels tend to have a shallower draft and larger beam than a standard Panamax vessel with a higher cargo capacity. These vessels have been designed specifically for loading high cubic cargoes from draught restricted ports, although they cannot transit the Panama Canal.

Panamax/Kamsarmax vessels have a carrying capacity of 68,000-89,999 dwt. These vessels carry coal, iron ore, grains, and, to a lesser extent, minor bulks, including steel products, cement and fertilizers. Panamax vessels are able to pass through the Panama Canal, making them more versatile than larger vessels with regard to accessing different trade routes. Most Panamax and Post-Panamax vessels are "gearless," and therefore must be served by shore-based cargo handling equipment.

Ultramax vessels have a carrying capacity of 60,000-67,999 dwt. Ultramax vessels operate in a large number of geographically dispersed global trade routes, carrying primarily grains and minor bulks. Ultramax vessels are normally offering cargo loading and unloading flexibility with on-board cranes, while at the same time possessing the cargo carrying capability approaching conventional Panamax vessels.

Handymax/Supramax vessels have a carrying capacity of 40,000-59,999 dwt. Like Ultramax vessels, Handymax vessels operate in a large number of geographically dispersed global trade routes, carrying primarily grains and minor bulks. Within the Handymax category there is also a sub-sector known as Supramax. Supramax vessels are ships between 50,000 to 59,999 dwt, normally offering cargo loading and unloading flexibility with on-board cranes.
Handysize vessels have a carrying capacity of up to 39,999 dwt. These vessels are primarily involved in carrying minor bulk cargoes. Increasingly, ships of this type operate within regional trading routes, and may serve as trans-shipment feeders for larger vessels. Handysize vessels are well suited for small ports with length and draft restrictions. Their cargo gear enables them to service ports lacking the infrastructure for cargo loading and unloading.

The drybulk shipping market is the primary provider of global commodities transportation. Approximately one third of all seaborne trade is drybulk related.
The demand for drybulk carrier capacity is determined by the underlying demand for commodities transported in drybulk carriers, which in turn is influenced by trends in the global economy. Demand for drybulk carrier capacity is also affected by the operating efficiency of the global fleet, with port congestion, which has been a feature of the market since 2004, absorbing tonnage and therefore leading to a tighter balance between supply and demand. In evaluating demand factors for drybulk carrier capacity, we believe that drybulk carriers can be the most versatile element of the global shipping fleets in terms of employment alternatives. Drybulk carriers seldom operate on round trip voyages. Rather, the norm is triangular or multi-leg voyages. Hence, trade distances assume greater importance in the demand equation.


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