a new begin
Anthony Veder’s new owners decide to expand the crewing and technical maintenance of the fleet to include its commercial operation, although they have no experience in this field. Times are difficult. The operations begin on a modest scale, with three small 1600 m3 gas tankers, the Prins Willem II, Prins Alexander and Prins Philips Willem, the 4000 m3 Prins Johan Willem Friso, and the Coral Acropora and Coral Actinia that were ordered by the previous owners. These last two ships, each of 2200 m3, are later lengthened to 3200 m3 and sold in 2006. .
The fleet is of a limited size, with a low capacity. New ships are purchased with the revenue from the sale of the non-shipowner operations in the hope that they can help conquer market share. However, the market is disappointing, and although there is a brief recovery in 1995 and 1996, the shipowner is unable to benefit because of its small fleet, which is also under contract.
Growth and stabilisation
The market picks up again in 2004. By having almost all the ships in Europe when the economy recovers does enable the shipowner to maximise the reinforcement of its contract portfolio in the region. When the market was in a dip the shipowner invested in ships – ships which were relatively cheap during the downturn – and can now benefit in full from the subsequent recovery. After the earlier purchase of five ships in China, the shipowner and the De Poli family order three ships in Italy, the Coral Lophelia, de Coral Leaf en de Coral Nettuno in 2004, just in time before the prices begin to increase again after the economic recovery.
During this economic revival the shipowner allocates the income to the redemption of its debts, and by the time the economy slows down again, in 2008, the shipowner has redeemed most of the debt and has a clean balance sheet. As a result, after 2009 the shipowner can once again invest in the cheaper ships available following the economic downturn. In 2009 the fleet is reinforced with the Coral Methane, in 2010 and 2011 with the Coral Parensis, Prins Hendrik, Prins Maurits, Odin and Rene, and in 2012 with the Coral Acropora, Coral Actinia, Coral Alicia and Coral Anthelia – all built in China – and the Coral Energy, built in Germany. At the end of 2012 the 75-year-old shipowner operates more than thirty ships, of which more than twenty are owned by the company.