The term ‘lay-up’ or ‘lay-up’ of ships technically refers to ships that have been temporarily removed from profitable service due to a lack of charter or cargo. Increases in freight costs are sometimes insufficient to cover the ships’ operating costs. ‘Laying up’ ships makes sense for owners during such difficult times.
The purpose of a lay-up is to reduce the company’s overheads during this non-profitable period, including ship machinery wear and tear, manning costs, fuel, and insurance costs. When compared to the sale of ships during the drought period, lay-up is usually a more sustainable option. Lay-up occasionally forces owners to allow repairs or even consider docking their vessels. To understand further, let us first investigate what a laid-up ship actually refers to. The two most common techniques for laying up the vessels are hot lay up malaysia and Cold Lay up.
The vessel is out of service during a Hot Lay-up, but it can be mobilised quickly. In cold lay up, the vessel is moored or anchored in a safe location while waiting for newer employment / charter. Out of service ships require a safe haven for their non-employed status, which necessitates careful planning. Choosing a location is regarded as the most important factor in ship lay-up. The idea behind laying up at safe locations is to provide safety for the crew, security for the vessel, and environmental protection. It also serves to protect the vessel structure from corrosive environments and machinery wear and tear.
Sites are chosen based on the following criteria:
– Protection from open seas, winds, and weather to avoid unnecessary structural damage that could prove costly for the already shaky company.
– Security and its implementation influence the site. Whether the area has an adequate backup plan in accordance with ISPS, SOLAS, and ISM regulations.
– Close proximity to trading / working areas for quick re-mobilization during Hot-Lay up periods. Because of their strategic and geographically advantageous locations, areas near Singapore, Gibraltar, and Rotterdam, for example, are hotbeds for easy business revival.
– Access to repair workshops, spares, and stores as needed if repairs or docking are to be performed.
– Access to general and utility services such as fresh water, provisions, and fuel as needed for operational reasons, which may become scarce during long lay-up periods.
– Fees for the Sustainable Port, Anchorage, and Wharf
– If anchored, sufficient water depth with good holding ground is required because the lay-up may last for days, if not months.
– The availability of suitable ship agents to handle the majority of the port documentation and crew changes as needed.
Generally, the classification society, Flag State, P&I Clubs, H&M Insurance organisations, and other authorities, including port authorities, are notified and approvals are sought for lay-up at such sites. During this time, the Flag State or Class may conduct mandatory inspections or audits. Port States are also not uncommon.
Preparations for laying up the vessel are made in such a way that there are no further delays during mobilization or re-commissioning. It is critical for company representatives and Ship Masters to understand the elements involved in the planning and execution of a safe lay-up and re-commissioning of the vessels.