The pandemic’s impact on maritime trade volumes in 2020 was less severe than initially expected but its knock-on effects will be far-reaching and could transform maritime transport, according to UNCTAD’s Review of Maritime Transport 2021 published on 18 November1.
While safety, sustainability, environmental protection, human resources, and digital innovation will remain unrelenting goals for the shipping industry, the pandemic has pushed operational and cost efficiencies into greater focus for shipowners.
We have endeavored to better understand the key focus areas of owners and operators and, here is what we learnt:
Focus is high on streamlining core operational processes, improving cost efficiency, and boosting profits
Building a crisis-resistant growth model and steadily increasing cost efficiency is a top goal
Efficient operations along with well-managed finances will help the companies to make it through the challenging times
Shipowners want to be high quality and cost-efficient operators while also sustainably expanding their fleet
While shipping companies are striving to achieve zero incidents, zero oil spills, and reduce emissions, they are also very focused on delivering superior service to charterers and maximum value to shareholders
Long-term profitability is one of the key business principles for shipowners for continued growth
They want their success to be defined through consistent outperformance and sustainable growth
They want to create significant long-term value by strategically planning financial and investment decisions while efficiently, consistently, and transparently acting as good stewards of capital
Owners and operators want to contribute to the success of their clients’ business objectives by providing flexible, global, high-quality, and reliable services
A prudent capital structure to accommodate staying power through the business cycles is critical to the business health of operators