According to the report “Future of the sea”, the shipping industry is a vital part of the UK economy, as 95% of imports and exports are carried by sea. The UK maritime sector is the largest in Europe, worth an estimated £14.5 billion. Growing population and development will increase the demand for the transport of goods and the drive to mitigate against climate change will put pressure on the shipping industry to lower CO2 emissions.
Commenting on the Company’s results for the fourth quarter of 2017, Stolt-Nielsen Limited CEO, Niels G. Stolt-Nielsen, said that the chemical tanker market continued to soften driven by oversupply of tonnage, combined with the impact from Hurricane Harvey.
Despite volatility both in terms of volumes and freight rates, Drewry has recorded only increases in global average reefer freight rates over the last 12 months, even during off-peak seasons.
Danish giant Maersk Line joined the New York Shipping Exchange, the innovator of the first digital forward freight contract for global container shipping, as a founding member. In less than nine months, NYSHEX has added six of the top global ocean carriers as members, representing a combined 52% of the global capacity.
With a fall of 19% from 2016, the 2017 went down in history as the worst year ever for container volumes at the Swedish Port of Gothenburg. The total freight volume came in at just over 40 million tonnes, buoyed up by good, and in some cases record-breaking, performances in other sectors.
At the beginning of 2018, new challenges are noted for VLCC owners. Rates are sluggish, with insufficient volumes and an oversupply of tonnage being the main reason. Specifically, the Suezmax market has seen limited action, with Wafr being particularly quiet.
In 2017, shipping confidence continued its high rating. Oil prices reached their highest point in three years, while in the Baltic Dry Index a 50% rise was noticed in the second half of 2017, Richard Greiner said.
2017 was a mostly year of change to better, but a cautious approach is still needed for 2018 to maintain the progress already achieved, BIMCO noted. Specially, BIMCO expects an improvement in dry bulk and container shipping sectors, while for tanker sector, there is a potential upside in low fleet growth for both crude oil and oil product tankers.
In 2018, the dry bulk fleet is likely to grow at the slowest pace seen since 1999, while global demand growth could outstrip supply growth, according to BIMCO. The level of growth in the fleet and the extent of demolition of excess capacity are key factors in the 2018 market.
Moore Stephens revealed that charterers are leading the way in terms of improved confidence and appetite for new investment. There is optimism in the dry bulk trades, and evidence of continuing improved confidence in the gas sector. The Baltic Dry Index has risen by over 50% in the past six months.
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