Dry bulk shipping industry players and performance


Nov. 20 2020, Updated 4:55 p.m. ET

Dry bulk shipping industry

Dry bulk shipping refers to the transportation of homogenous bulk cargoes by bulk vessels on an irregular scheduled line. It’s affected by numerous factors—like the growth of world economies and commodity supply and demand. Dry bulk commodities’ seaborne trade—like iron ore and coking coal—expands with rising construction activities in the global arena. In this series, we’ll discuss the housing sales.


China accounts for a major share of dry bulk commodities’ imports and exports. As a result, rapid economic development, a rising urban population, and grain production are some of the driving factors for a strong dry bulk shipping industry. In this series, we’ll discuss iron ore and coal imports.

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Industry index and companies

In the past three months, the Guggenheim Shipping ETF (SEA)—an index that’s weighted with dry bulk shipping companies—dropped 6.1%. On a year-to-date, or YTD, basis, SEA was up 0.5%. The Baltic Dry Index (BDI) declined 29% and 0.13% in the same period.

Some of the major players in the industry include DryShips Inc. (DRYS), Navios Maritime Holdings (NM), Safe Bulkers, Inc. (SB), and Knightsbridge Tankers Ltd. (VLCCF).

Series overview

In this series, we’ll discuss some of the important metrics that drive the dry bulk shipping industry. China’s PMI (purchasing managers’ index) is one of the major yardsticks to determine the economy’s manufacturing growth. This determines the commodities’ demand. We’ll also analyze vessel values with the help of vessel prices for newbuilds, secondhand vessels, and the dry bulk orderbook.


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