Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
E-mail

UNCTAD warns trade wars threaten global shipping outlook

2018-10-04

McKeil Marine's Evans Spirit  won the International Bulk Journal's 2016 Ship of the Year Award during the IBJ's Salute to Excellence in the Maritime Bulk Industry gala awards ceremony in London, UK on November 21.
"It's a fantastic way to closeout our 60th anniversary year: having a vessel named after our founder, Evans McKeil, win this prestigious international award," said Steve Fletcher, President and CEO of McKeil Marine.
Acquired by McKeil in 2015, the Evans Spirit is a cargo ship with the shallow draught characters of a tug and barge; however, compared to a tug-and-barge unit, she can transport approximately 40 per cent more cargo about 50 per cent faster on a very similar amount of fuel.  She is in service throughout the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River.
Evans Spirit was shortlisted for 2016 Ship of the Year competing with three other vessels: CS Bright, Mitsui OSK Lines, Japan;  Damen Shipyards, Netherlands; and MN Baroque, Swiss Marine, Switzerland. The award is presented to the owner, operator or builder of an outstanding individual bulk ship. Judged on operational efficiency, design innovation, safety and environmental protection, the Evans Spirit was selected as winner. (Photo Paul Beesley).

Geneva, Switzerland - "While the prospects for seaborne trade are positive, these are threatened by the outbreak of trade wars and increased inward-looking policies," warns UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi. "Escalating protectionism and tit-for-tat tariff battles will potentially disrupt the global trading system which underpins demand for maritime transport."

While not making a direct reference to the trade wars initiated by U.S. President Trump against China, Canada, Mexico and the European Union, the warning was contained in the 2018 edition of the UNCTAD Review of Maritime Transport released during the October 3-4 Global Maritime Forum Annual Summit in Hong Kong.

Seaborne trade expanded by a healthy 4% in 2017, the fastest growth in five years, while UNCTAD forecasts similar growth this year, according to its Review of Maritime Transport 2018. Volumes across all segments are set to grow in 2018, with containerized and dry bulk commodities expected to record the fastest growth at the expense of tanker volumes.

 

 

The warning came against a background of an improved balance between demand and supply that has lifted shipping rates to boost earnings and profits. Freight-rate levels improved significantly in 2017 (except in the tanker market), supported by stronger global demand, more manageable fleet capacity growth and overall healthier market conditions.

Supply-demand improvements, namely in the container and dry bulk shipping segments, are expected to continue in 2018. Freight rates may benefit accordingly, although supply-side capacity management and deployment remain key. UNCTAD projects an average annual growth rate in total volumes of 3.8% up to 2023.

On the supply side, after five years of decelerating growth, 2017 saw a small pick-up in world fleet expansion. During the year, a total of 42 million gross tons were added to global tonnage, equivalent to a modest 3.3% growth rate. (Photo Antwerp Port Authority).

 
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner