Upon Ulysses' epic return to Ithaca from the Trojan War, he found that the journey had meant more to him than the destination. The modern Ulysses -- a new dry bulk cargo vessel -- appears similarly destined to remain at sea.
In fact, following a substantial restructuring to weather stormy market conditions, Ulysses' owner, Navios Maritime Holdings
Unlike competitors like DryShips
Incredibly, spot market daily rates for the larger Capesize vessels have broken to below $4,000, after fetching as much as $233,000 just six months ago. That's no typo … but rather a stark indication of how violent this reversal from boom to bust has become for the dry bulk shippers. The Chairman of China's Cosco Holdings believes the storm "came fast and will be gone quickly." If that forecast proves correct, then a company like Navios may actually experience little impact as long-term charter contracts provide a bridge over troubled water.
Still, this is no time to be cavalier about the future. Taking a cue from Diana Shipping
If China's stimulus program rekindles demand for raw materials from miners like BHP Billiton
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Fool contributor Christopher Barker has been aboard these massive dry bulk carriers, and felt like a kid in a candy store. He can be found blogging actively and acting Foolishly within the CAPS community under the username TMFSinchiruna. He owns shares of BHP Billiton and Diana Shipping. The Motley Fool has a bone-dry disclosure policy.