I expect three major events in shipping this year:
- The volatile shipping market could stabilize during a transition year for future resurrection. Neither carriers nor shippers are happy with the fluctuation of rates in 2012, and neither side wins in such a market. A less volatile but more energized market could set the stage for the next round of overall rejuvenation.
- I expect to see much more capital flow to the shipping industry, a critical piece to rejuvenating the market. Despite the recent poor financial performance, I believe shipping will continue to be a profitable industry in the long run that deserves more investment. The total shipping assets in the world amount to nearly $1 trillion, so a 10 percent increase or decrease means the gain or loss of $100 billion worth of assets. I expect to see more capital flow in 2013. There’s an old Chinese saying, “Close to Water, Close to Money.” The shipping industry needs more money and will make more money.
- Greener shipping: Historically, each round of industry crisis was followed by a round of industry renovation through technology. I expect to see more environmentally-friendly shipping to be fully implemented in 2013. Green shipping is the new core competitiveness and prime mover for shipping sustainability.