Recession In Shipping, Is Seafarer Affected?

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The world-wide recession, which started in 2008, is still continuing. Shipping, being a service industry cannot remain untouched and therefore the most feared recession is setting its foot in the shipping industry.

The recession started in USA in 2008, quickly caught the markets of Europe. Since more than half of the world caught in recession, the shipping industry could not get escape.
The nature of shipping business is more dependent on prediction as the ship building takes time. More number of ships ordered from yard during the boom is now adding to the fire of recession in the shipping industry.
The supply of ships now is too high. The boom in commodities prices earlier to financial crisis gave rise to demand of new ships from yard. These new ships, being delivered now are adding to over-supply of ships. This is resulting in very low fright rates.

The Baltic index for dry bulk is all time low. The dry bulk owners are running their ships at loss. Only cash rich owners are able to sustain the loss hoping that the market will recover. The end of tunnel is still not visible.
The seafarers, sailing on dry bulkers will get affected as more ships are getting layed. Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, Hong Kong ports can be seen with increasing number of layed up vessels.

Moreover, the shipping business is always a cyclic business of slump and boom and mostly this cycle is of 5 years. If this trend continues, then we can hope for recovery in a near future.

Adversity always has the opportunities and this is true for shipping as well for all the stake holders like owners, ships managers and seafarers. Seafarers can make use of this time for upgrading their skills, certification and specialisation. Specialisation in dangerous cargo can be taken up by those who are in dry bulk sector. This will give better edge to their career in future.

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