“The year 2015 has been as bad as expected. Shipping in all its forms has lost its lustre,” BRS president Tim Jones said in its annual report.
The shipbroker said they estimated $65bn had been lost on the underlying value of shipping assets in 2015, a fact that has been reflected in the large number writedowns on fleet values that have been made by public-listed shipping companies.
“This year saw historic (adjusted) lows or near lows, in almost all market sectors except tankers,” Jones added.
In the case of shipping and mining expansion was set out by companies as if they were the only actor in the market.
“But the markets do not expand indefinitely. We are waking up to a maritime sector that was being dimensioned to meet the demand of an adolescent China with mature Western economies weaned off energy consumption, and the expected globalisation of trade,” he said.
There is a shift from it not just being the cost of energy that drives global trade but also the environment and the costs of global warming, and this could lead to a new model for shipping where environmental performance is rewarded.
“Will shipping contracts be awarded to companies that pollute less, will there be tangible premiums for industrial users of freight to choose low pollutant carriers?” Jones asked.
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