How can small- and medium- sized vessels shipowners negotiate the arduous market
Renowned shipping journal, Lloyd’s List, has recently round up an exclusive panel of industry experts to relook at 2020, and project the upcoming challenges in 2021. The journal has also conducted a twitter poll involving some 60,500 followers to identify critical issues likely to affect the maritime market in 2021.
Compelling findings from the polls
Close to half of the poll’s respondents felt the crew change crisis from COVID-19 had minimal impact on the perception of the maritime industry, while 51.6 per cent expected freight rates to improve in 2021. That is a clear reflection of the industry’s commitment to sustain the worldwide supply chain and business eco-system.
Despite placing emphasis on importance of sustaining the global supply chain, there is a sector of the market identified to be at a major disadvantage. Close to 70 per cent of the poll’s respondents agreed the small- and medium- sized vessels shipowners will be the most challenged group not only for 2021, but for the next 10 years.
With COVID-19 immensely straining the maritime industry, 36.3 per cent of the poll’s respondents concurred digitalisation is the best opportunity to remain relevant. Digital technologies have validated the truth of reinvented business landscape and customers are now at the core of sales activities. With connectivity, efficiency and reliability taking centrestage, the most challenged sector would need to take the first step to digitise their businesses before taking on other investments such as retrofits to expand their coverage.