What to Expect from the Maritime Industry in 2019
2018 is drawing to a close, and the maritime industry is looking forward to the changes that the new year might bring. Will all of it be positive or should marine professionals prepare for the worst? Here are some of the industry developments to look out for in 2019.
Bigger Investments in Smart Technologies
Digitalisation has always been foreseen as the next step in the development of the maritime industry. While the process has been slowly moving forward, it seems that in 2019 the investments into new technologies will reach new heights, according to port technology provider Navis. The company predicts that the main focus will be concentrated on automation, big data analytics and cloud services in the container shipping sector. However, less attention will fall on the Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain technologies.
Even if it’s not projected to be the top priority for many shipping companies, IoT technology will make a considerable impact in 2019. Loginno, the Israeli IoT solutions provider, has announced its plans for a world’s first digital shipping company to be formed next year. One organisation will be selected for a full container fleet digitalisation that will lower operational costs and provide competitive benefits.
Preparations for the Sulphur Cap
IMO’s Marpol Annex VI regulation, limiting the sulphur content in marine fuel to 0.5%, will come into force in 2020 and the maritime industry is mobilising their resources to prepare for it. Although, Taiwan has decided to speed up the process by having its seaports enforce the new regulation from 1 January 2019. Ships entering the Keelung, Taichung, Kaohsiung, Hualien, Taipei, Suao, and Anping ports will have to use low sulphur fuel or other methods of emission reduction a full year before it’s mandatory globally.
Regarding the compliance with the IMO’s rules, it is expected that in 2019 scrubbers will gain more popularity. According to top three scrubber manufacturer Yara International, its sales could more than double next year compared to 2018. One of the potential buyers could possibly be the major ship transportation company Hapag-Lloyd that has recently decided to install scrubber technology on its container vessels during 2019, starting with its 13,177 TEU Hamburg Express flagship. While only about 1,550 vessels of the total global fleet will be fitted with scrubbers by 2020, experts believe that they could have a positive impact on containership freight rates in 2019.
2019 is projected to be a successful year for the continued growth of the cruise industry. According to CLIA-certified travel agents, sales will rise in the next 12 months with around 30 million travellers embarking on a cruise. It will be a 6.4% increase compared to 2018, predicts the CLIA industry outlook.
This growth is attributed to 18 new vessels from CLIA members on order and 272 expected to be in operation by June 2019. There will also be eight mega ships setting sail in 2019 from such cruise lines like MSC Cruises, Costa Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Princess Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line and Carnival Cruise Line.
Trouble with China
The U.S. foreign policy experts have revealed in a recent survey that a possibility of an armed conflict in the South China Sea is their top security concern. According to the results, there is an even chance of such events occurring in 2019.
While the tensions between China and the U.S continue, the trade war doesn’t rank higher than the potential confrontation between China and one of the Southeast Asian countries. It may be because the U.S. government is expecting to reach a trade agreement on tariff reductions in the course of 2019. However, even is such an agreement is reached between the two countries, it would take time for the container shipping sector to stabilise.
All trade restrictions in 2018 will cause the global container trade to fall by 0.5% to 2% during 2019 and 2020, says Maersk. The global economy has also slowed down in the last year, negatively affecting the container shipping market, promising a lacklustre year ahead for the sector.
Best Strategic Approaches for 2019 Revealed
Shipping industry insiders and renowned experts will discuss main issues for maritime industry businesses across the value chain and reveal best solutions at a high-profile event in 2019 – the 4th International Green Shipping Summit on 8-9 October in Rotterdam. Registration for is already open! Find out more: www.gssummit.org.