2016 has turned out to be one of the most challenging years ever for shipping, with the downturn striking most of the shipping segments.
The main driver for the crisis, which still continues to affect us, is the over-investing in assets combined with the slow growth in demand, which stems from declining world trade and lower oil prices.
Challenging times for owners quickly translates into challenging times for managers, as owners push for lower operating costs. The increasingly tight cash flows have meant that mangers are becoming more vigilant on payment and credit issues.
On top of these challenges the industry is faced with a number of new regulatory requirements that will have significant cost implications for owners over the next few years. The industry is now working out the economic consequences and will focus on finding ways to mitigate the costs over the coming year.
Further, we have to acknowledge that the world is moving steadily to a greener way of operating, and it is important that we as an industry are part of the solution going forward.
InterManager is playing an active part in this process by working with industry stakeholders to ensure that implementation of the new requirements are rational and do not put an undue burden on owners, managers and crew.
As 2017 creeps ever closer, another area of focus for the industry must be to improve the overall image of shipping. The majority of our maritime colleagues operate in a profession and responsible manner. Unfortunately there are some ‘bad apples’ that do not operate on this level and do not behave responsibly when it comes to safety, the environment and crew welfare.
Although some may argue that shipping is a fragmented industry with companies scattered all over the world with very different cultures and traditions when it comes to safety, quality and crew welfare.
Let 2017 be the year where we come together for the common purpose, rather than be led into a ‘that will do’ battle. By working together and combining our individual expertise we can make 2017 a progressive and innovative year.
Have a wonderful Christmas and a very happy New Year.