Shipowners must find the discipline to resist over-supplying the market, the flexibility to manage digital transformation, the foresight to read a market transition, and the commitment to keep safety ahead of commercial concerns if they are to succeed over the next 18 months.
That was the advice from the panel of leading industry experts brought together at a Lloyd’s List Business Briefing during Singapore Maritime Week 2017 to explore the key trends facing the shipping markets.
Richard Meade, Managing Editor of Lloyd’s List, opened the event by observing that the pace of change in shipping is accelerating, but that he was buoyed by the response from some industry leaders.
“I’m encouraged, certainly, by the cautious optimism I’m hearing (during Singapore Maritime Week) and the general consensus that we are well structured for a recovery, if not quite there yet, but I don’t think anyone’s suffering under any delusions that we have some very real risks to overcome still.
“Supply side concerns continue to loom over all sectors while the aftershock of some pretty seismic geopolitical developments have left businesses needing to prepare for a multitude of scenarios. China, OPEC, regulatory requirements, the return of shale gas, prospect of protectionist trade skirmishes all offer the prospect of demand side unpredictability.
“Navigating funding challenges, value volatility, all the inevitable minefields of bankruptcies, they all present an unusually complex set of challenges for maritime businesses to deal with right now.
“Shipping feels like a responsive industry. We are laggards who wait for others to make a move and then respond. That’s not the way to run an industry. The shipping industry landscape is littered by failed one move strategies. The shipping industry needs a shift from following the leader to leading itself,” Meade said.
Panellists at the briefing exchanged frank and revealing views and forecasts about the industry’s short and medium term future, primarily:
- Market Outlook
- Digital Innovation and Disruption
- China and its One
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