This change in the shipping industry’s fortunes, welcomed by many professionals, reflected several influences. Probably the most visible contribution was seaborne trade’s revival from the worst effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Global cargo movements picked up more rapidly than many expectations. Higher movements were particularly notable in container services.
Another factor also contributed: moderating growth in the world fleet of merchant ships. Combined with the trade expansion, this enable the basic balance between demand for, and supply of shipping capacity to become tighter. Several other changes assisted, boosting market rates. Many observers see prospects for some of the recent pattern of events to continue into next year and perhaps beyond.
World seaborne trade volume could grow by 3–5% in 2021 according to predictions by a number of analysts, after the severe downturn seen last year when the economic recession caused by the pandemic reduced import demand for cargoes. Moreover disruptive influences in some trades, such as greater port congestion, have a positive effect on the market balance. Meanwhile, estimates suggest that growth in the deadweight capacity of the world merchant ship fleet may not exceed 3% this year.
Improvements in trends and expectations have been notably reflected in the sale and purchase market. Provisional figures indicate that the tonnage of second hand ships changing hands in the first half of 2021 may have been an all-time record high, while vessel values rose. Rising container ship and bulk carrier prices were especially prominent.
Many professionals employed in shipping can expect to benefit from a buoyant market. Members of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers will be in a strong position to take advantage of career opportunities becoming available.
The Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers is the professional body for all those involved in commercial shipping worldwide. Its qualification has a well-deserved reputation, confirming a high standard of maritime knowledge, competence and integrity. This combination of qualities proves valuable to employers at any stage of the shipping market cycle.
Dry Cargo International