What is in store for us? Anybody’s guess really, but with the latest economic and financial measures of stimulus in the US, EU, China and Japan there is ground for at least cautious optimism for the world economy. The 2013 Perspectives in Shipping will endeavour to cast some light on the likely developments in the economic powerhouses, which will be decisive for where the future opportunities will be also for shipping.
A key component to the growth engine is of course energy and the cost of energy to all parts of society. For shipping oil, gas and coal are critical commodities in the energy supply chain, and especially the trade pattern impacting volumes and transport distances. The cost of bunkers obviously impacts shipping cost and unfortunately there is no indication that the trend of increased fuel prices will reverse. The commercial realities for practically all shipping markets have been particularly challenging, but some expect that the difficult market conditions may ease off during 2013. As usual for a cyclical business, the currents will change and carry shipping back into prosperity.
The big question is when and where! Although any prediction is associated with a wide spectrum of uncertainties, these crucial issues will be the focus of debate between leading economists and industry leaders at BIMCO’s AGM and Perspectives in Shipping conference in Paris on 28 May 2013. The event will be moderated by Julian Bray the Editor-in-Chief of TradeWinds.