AFO #64 - 2012年带来的教训 2013.01.01

2013-01-03 18:46  浏览次数 91




下面文章转载自1219日贸易风周报:       再见2012- 你出的难题


Farewell 2012 — you taught tough lessons ( 1).

The past year will go down as one of the toughest in the global shipping industry for many years, but the lessons taught will have long-term implications.

2012 is likely to be etched into the history books as one of the most gruelling for the shipping industry in a quarter of a century.

After bouncing back in 2010 from 2008’s Lehman Brothers collapse, many thought that despite ongoing economic uncertainties in major economies the shipping boom was set to pick up much where it had left off.

Freight rates climbed, even more newbuilding deals were inked and champagne corks were uncorked. Sadly, such optimism proved badly misjudged.

2011 saw a general slide back to weak and volatile markets, with companies’ cash resources coming under steadily greater pressure. In 2012, the situation did not improve, but deteriorated further.

OSG in ‘perfect storm’

The crisis tugging at much of the industry was highlighted by tanker giant Overseas Shipholding Group (OSG)’s retreat into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last month, swamped by a perfect storm of problems, not least “particularly atrocious” freight rates in the previous eight months, according to embattled boss Morten Arntzen.

As we now all stand on the threshold of 2013 and as we all relax over the holiday period, are what lessons have been learned of significance for the year ahead?

Perhaps the most immediate is that few believe that the next year will offer much chance of an easy recovery. After the biggest annual delivery of new ships in history, oversupply in most of the major ship segments remains chronic, with scrapping barely able to dent the impact.

Nerves about the ongoing European financial crisis, the looming US “fiscal cliff”, a sharp slowdown in Brazil and lacklustre growth in India all contribute to a lack of confidence that trade growth can fill most ships soon, inevitably putting constant pressure on freight rates.

No new chinese import boom

Even recent upturns, such as that earlier seen in the capesize bulk market, appear to have little longer-term strength. A little optimism has returned with signs that China’s incoming leaders intend to cautiously stimulate growth, but no one should be fooled that will add up to new import boom.

They focus on expanding domestic consumption, and explicitly not throwing good money after bad on inefficient and resource-hungry old industries.

Finance for shipping will remain hard to source. Banks’ balance sheets are under increased regulatory pressure, and the appetite to roll over bad loans has come to an end. This is likely to trigger fresh casualties. Players will all have to keep close to their financiers, and deliver results not just promises.

Perhaps, however, the most profound change over the last year has been what appears to be a fundamental shift in the industry’s strategic thinking.

While the asset-play approach remains fundamental, there is now a more deep-seated appreciation that future survival — let alone success — can pivot on efficient operations across all areas.

From financial and management rigour, through equipment and staff costs, to fuel efficiency of vessels and alliances with partners, the added bottom-line margin can be the difference between corporate triumph or tragedy.

It may not be as romantic as the traditional intense focus on swashbuckling deals, but such attention to the details of how your company is run is now a necessity in shipping and not merely an indulgence.

19 December 2012, 06:57 GMT

上一篇:AFO #65 - 造船业..    下一篇:AFO #63 - “黑士..