We are pleased to report a consistent increase in business across our US office as the country begins to emerge from lockdown. With offices located in Fort Lauderdale and Charleston, Peters & May USA has recently expanded its expert team to 12 personnel, with additional support supplied by specialist consultant Jane Stevenson of Racing Yacht Logistics, based in Newport, Rhode Island.
This expansion reflects a success rate which is doubly impressive considering the challenges posed by the pandemic over the preceding 16 months. It is a source of considerable pride that the company has been able to carry on with sailings on at least a monthly basis throughout, adapting its planning and drawing upon the support of our global network of exclusive agents and regional loadmasters to provide local service in restricted ports. Successful sailings carried out over the last year have included the transportation of 38 yachts from Fort Lauderdale and Antigua to Southampton, and the shipment of a damaged Ocean Alexander 112 luxury yacht from Norfolk, Virginia to the Bahamas for repairs.
“The signs of recovery are extremely encouraging,” says Matt Penfold, Managing Director, Peters & May USA. “With over a third of the country fully vaccinated, many American states are now relaxing Covid restrictions or removing them altogether, so businesses are bouncing back with renewed vigour. We’re seeing a marked increase in production boat numbers for worldwide exports, especially in Asian and European markets, which is great news for the economy.
“We’ve also seen a sharp rise in the number of domestic boat owners in the US during the pandemic, which is a direct consequence of international travel constraints causing people to rethink their vacation plans and purchase craft for recreational purposes.”
This significant increase in recreational yacht ownership has been accompanied with a surge in boat movements, as indicated by the escalation of yacht transport enquiries received by our US office from the Caribbean and US. Having maintained its regular monthly Caribbean sailings despite the numerous difficulties presented by international lockdown measures, we anticipate a renewed demand for transatlantic shipments over the coming months, particularly related to charter yachts, as the Mediterranean prepares to open up once more and welcome vaccinated tourists.
For our US office, one of the most positive developments to have emerged from the pandemic has been the signing of a new partnership with the Oslo Bulk shipping company, through which we have become the company’s nominated agent for the US and Caribbean. As a result of this new business agreement, regular northbound and southbound heavy-lift sailings between the East Coast of America and the Caribbean have been made available for the very first time, calling at Newport, Freeport, Fort Lauderdale, St Thomas, St Maarten, Antigua and St Lucia.
“Our relationship with Oslo Bulk has continued to blossom since we partnered with them in September 2020,” Matt observes. “Our monthly Caribbean service continues to be busy, and we are predicting more than 16 port calls in Port Everglades alone this year. With the hurricane season just about to begin, we also expect to witness a growing demand in sailings going north from the Caribbean.”
Plans are afoot to reinforce the partnership this year with new sailings between the US and Europe, in addition to other areas within the USA. Competition is rife in the US yacht transport market, but with over 40 years’ experience behind the company, Peters & May holds a number of distinct advantages. With six dedicated departments covering sea, air and land shipments, it offers bespoke transport solutions for craft ranging from jet-skis up to 65m superyachts. All docking, lifting and stowage plans for charter sailings are generated in-house by an expert tech team as is the case with P&M’s dedicated loadmasters, each member will have undergone several years of intensive training, and will have obtained all relevant industry-approved qualifications. Furthermore, Peters & May designs, owns and maintains its own specialized cradles and lifting gear for optimal efficiency, precision and safety.
“So many boat owners are itching to get back out on the water after months of frustration and uncertainty caused by the pandemic,” Matt concludes, “and we can supply a range of tailored solutions for anyone contemplating the transportation of their yacht to new cruising locations. We suggest getting in touch with us as soon as possible to discuss options and arrange plans.”
For further information about shipping routes and schedules see: www.petersandmay.com/en/sailing-schedules