Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers
London & South East Branch

Is scrapping likely to regain momentum?

by Richard Scott FICS, member of London & South East Branch Committee, 7 March 2022
 
Within the world fleet of merchant ships, scrapping of older vessels has been subdued in recent years, although tanker demolition sales picked up in the past twelve months. But there are signs of a changing trend, resulting in much larger volumes heading for the breakers’ yards in the period ahead.

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A Remarkable Year

by Richard Scott FICS, member of London & South East Branch Committee, 22 January 2022
 
Last year was a remarkable period in the global shipping industry. Annual statistics for 2021 now emerging, some of which may be revised significantly when more detailed information is available, emphasise the extent of the improvement in markets and freight rates.

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ICS London and South-East Branch - Chaiman's Report

1ST JUNE 2020 – 31ST MAY 2021

This has been a challenging year due to Covid-19 as the Government imposed restrictions on people travelling to work or travelling, attending work, or meeting face to face or even socializing. These restrictions severely impacted upon the branch, as we have been forced to reduce our activities and cancel some events. 

However, London and South-East branch have managed to continue functioning through online meetings. We are indebted to Head office, Jeffrey Blum, and Jonathan Marks for their support in hosting and assisting with the online challenges of setting up and managing these meetings.

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A useful shipping market analysis

by Richard Scott FICS, member of London & South East Branch Committee, 3 July 2021
 
The latest edition of a regular half-yearly review of the global shipping market was published a few weeks ago by Danish Ship Finance and can be accessed free of charge on this company’s website.
 
The authoritative content of the DSF’s Shipping Market Review is a valuable resource for Institute students and members alike.
 
Topics analysed in the Review include demand, supply, and market changes in the container, dry bulk, crude tanker, products tanker, LPG and shipbuilding sectors. Each section contains an analysis of recent trends and what influenced these, accompanied by some thoughts on what could happen in the next twelve to eighteen months.

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The coal trade conundrum

by Richard Scott FICS, member of London & South East Branch Committee, 25 May 2021
 
A dark cloud overshadows the bulk carrier market. Looking ahead up to the end of the decade and beyond, prospects for global seaborne coal trade are not good.
 
This outlook is especially significant because of the huge volume traded annually. Coal comprises well over 20% of all international dry bulk commodity movements, and therefore contributes a large proportion of employment for the world bulk carrier fleet.
 
Environmental influences gaining momentum in many countries are driving coal usage downwards. The negative impact on import demand is visible. Last year, the effects were exacerbated by the pandemic which reduced energy consumption around the world.
 
Yet it is still not clear when a longer-term downwards trend in coal trade is likely to start, or how rapid it may prove. In the meantime, a number of forecasters agree that there is potential for at least a partial recovery in the annual trade volume during 2021, perhaps a 4-5% increase.

Newbuildings become more desirable

by Richard Scott FICS, member of London & South East Branch Committee, 14 December 2021
 
Amid reviving shipping market confidence a pickup in newbuilding orders has gained momentum this year. The main focus has been on container ships, accompanied by stronger orders for bulk carriers and gas carriers, while tanker ordering remained subdued.

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Seaborne Trade and Decarbonisation

by Richard Scott FICS, member of London & South East Branch Committee, 12 November 2021
 
Amid the climate change COP26 conference deliberations, the main focus from a shipping angle was the aim of reducing or eliminating carbon emissions from the world fleet of merchant ships over the next three decades. But what are the implications of the wider global decarbonisation target for the shipping industry’s activity?
 
During the years ahead towards 2050 “seaborne trade volumes are likely to shrink for some of the shipping industry’s largest cargo categories including crude oil, oil products, coal, and natural gas”. Adding to these reductions “that could also be the case for some of the largest container vessels, albeit for different reasons”.

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How fast is the fleet growing?

by Richard Scott FICS, member of London & South East Branch Committee, 24 September 2021
 
An important influence has been helping the global shipping industry to move towards a better balance between demand and supply. Fleet expansion has tended to be more controlled than seen in some previous market phases. This feature has been reflected in higher freight rates in several sectors.
 
But perceptions vary and, occasionally, discordant observations are made. For example, during the recent London International Shipping Week a leading shipowner stated publicly that growth in the bulk carrier fleet has almost ceased. Is that correct? A close look at the statistics suggests otherwise, and the difference between the ‘stories’ is quite large.

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Fuelling the decarbonisation debate

by Richard Scott FICS, member of London & South East Branch Committee, 19 May 2021
 
More heat was generated last month in the debate about decarbonising shipping when an authoritative report on the topic was published. Experts at the World Bank expressed doubts about how much liquefied natural gas as a marine fuel could contribute to the transition.
 
The published summary of the World Bank’s report provides a useful and readable overview of the wider maritime decarbonisation story. But a controversial aspect was its suggestion that LNG “is estimated to play a rather limited role in the transition towards low- and zero-carbon shipping, being mostly used in niche applications”. 

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Attracting talent to maritime employment

by Richard Scott FICS, member of London & South East Branch Committee, 26 March 2021
 
After a year of pandemic, are there any changes in employers’ views which could make jobs in the maritime sector more appealing? In particular, what changes in recruitment policies could increase the attractiveness of shore-based employment?
 
Several weeks ago ship management company V.Group published a paper entitled Attracting talent to the maritime industry. This paper looks at how the pandemic has affected recruitment, focusing on both onshore and seafarer categories.

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