China Cosco Has Third Ship Arrested in Two Months as Owners Seek Late Fees
A China Cosco Holdings Co. vessel was arrested at the request of Bunge SA, at least the third attachment against China’s largest shipping company in two months as owners seek late charter payments.
The Yu Lan Hai was detained as Geneva-based Bunge sought $294,252 in fees plus costs from Cosco unit Cosco Bulk Carrier Co., according to court documents. The ruling was granted by Judge Helen G. Berrigan of the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana on Aug. 18.
The arrest followed another attachment in Louisiana earlier this month and one in Singapore in July because of disputes involving late payments. In each case, Tianjin, China-based Cosco was locked into long-term contracts at rates higher than market prices following a collapse in spot rates.
Bunge was owed money from Cosco’s use of another ship, the Coal Gypsy, which was hired out in 2008 at rates of as much as $67,000 a day until as late as Dec. 30, 2010, according to the filings. The Coal Gypsy is an 82,295 deadweight-ton bulk carrier, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
China Cosco said last week in an e-mail to Bloomberg News that the disputes were part of “normal operations.” It didn’t elaborate further. A spokesman, who declined to be named, citing company policy, referred back to that statement when called today.
The case is Bunge SA v. Cosco Bulk Carrier Co., 2:11-cv- 02045-HGB-SS, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana.
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