Commentary

Commentary

Many of us in the freight transportation industry in general, and the container shipping sector especially, read multiple industry-related publications in an effort to keep up with issues, to try to understand the environment that impacts our daily working lives and, ideally, to help us in our decision making. I’m constantly drawn to numbers because they spin no tales, they have no agenda and they are what they are as long as you know and understand the context.
The industry will face economic challenges again in 2013 as the global economy is expected to continue to grow only modestly.
We have the ocean transportation industry’s version of the “fiscal cliff” for 2013.
I believe the East Coast will begin to see bigger ships calling with greater frequency but at fewer ports; the ocean carriers simply can’t afford not to adapt.
In 2013, we can expect threats to the security of our maritime supply chains, known and unknown, to persist. Changes in maritime security training regimes that will strengthen the professional competence of merchant mariners and port facility personnel to deal with these hazards are under way.
Maersk’s Line CEO Nils Andersen’s remarks that A.P. Moller-Maersk will switch its investment focus from shipping to its oil, drilling rig and ports expansion business surprised many. Maersk, after all, is the largest and, to many, the world’s most successful liner shipping.
Failing to pay attention to a motor carrier’s tariff rules could drastically limit a claim payment.
President Obama is painting a dire picture if the House Republicans don't agree to raise taxes, yet again, to avert sequestration.
The uncertainties from a year ago are still with us in the trans-Pacific market.
Having spent 31 of my 33 professional years on the international side of the shipping industry, moving to the domestic offshore segment has proved similar in some ways and quite different in others. It’s those differences that I believe have caused the Jones Act trades to find themselves in the somewhat controversial positions we’ve read about all too often.
The maritime academies face many challenges in our traditional way of preparing students for careers in the maritime industry: ever-increasing domestic and international regulations (standards, training, certification and watchkeeping; MARPOL; and ballast water, for example); growing demand for online education vs. face-to-face classroom; shrinking state and federal budgets; and the aging state of maritime academy training ships.
The big ship trend shows no sign of slowing.
The two most important changes we believe will affect maritime executive search in the coming year are dramatic shifts in top leadership positions within many of our nation’s seaports and significant growth in the NVOCC and freight forwarding sectors.
I expect three major events in shipping this year.