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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

An optimistic mood prevailed at World Shipping Summit, China

COSCO and the Port of Qingdao hosted the annual World Shipping (China) Summit earlier this week in Qingdao. An air of optimism could be detected for the industry and its recovery.


While there was some degree of pragmatism in the conference hall, with most predicting a U-shaped recovery rather than COSCO Group's Capt Wei Jaifu's V-shaped prediction, there remained confidence that some recovery would be seen in the short term. Capt Wei explained that recovery would require a focus on avoiding protectionism. Sinotrans President, Zhao Huxiang and AP Moller-Maersk's Group Senior VP, Tim Smith, both echoed Capt Wei's sentiment and warned that protectionism would have negative impacts for recovery in the medium to long term.


As an indicator of the significance of the GHG debate, Capt Wei also suggested that recovery would also require an enhanced awareness of, and a drive for, efficient and environmentally effective shipping. This was in marked contrast to previous World Shipping Summits where environmental performance has often remained outside market-focused debates.


On the second day, the discussion turned to more detailed elements of the shipping industry. INTERTANKO's Regional Manager Asia-Pacific, Tim Wilkins, spoke on the life of single-hull tankers, explaining that while the single-hull fleet continues to diminish, there are still opportunities being presented to these vessels - with options open from a number of flag administrations and port states. However, these options would generally be confined to local, national and regional trading owing to commercial pressures on the international trade and to the favouring of double-hulls by charterers that has been witnessed over the last two years.


Contact: Tim Wilkins