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Six Major Happenings in 2022 in the Maritime Industry

Six Major Happenings in 2022 in the Maritime Industry - EEUU

Without a doubt, 2022 was an eventful year in the Maritime Industry. In this article, we will take a look back at the six main stories that dominated the headlines over the past 12 months. 

1. Tanker Market Boom

While 2021 had not been a good year for the tanker sector, things improved by the end of October 2022. Because of the impact on global oil trade and prices triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, charter hires reached very high levels on the back of longer voyages for crude oil and for refined products as well as small and large gas carriers.

2. The War in Ukraine

The tanker market boom was mainly the result of the war in Ukraine as it had a direct impact on shipping. However, the invasion of Ukraine also caused thousands of seafarers to become stranded at Ukrainian ports which gradually became blockaded, leading to a crisis in global food markets and prices as Ukraine is the major exporter of wheat and grain. An international corridor for grain exports from Ukraine, along with a humanitarian corridor, was set up and running in July.

3. P&O Ferries Mass Firing

Peter Hebblethwaite, the CEO of P&O Ferries, was a name unfamiliar to most people, but he quickly was branded Britain’s most hated boss on account of the mass firings (over Zoom and without warning) of 800 seafarers on March 17.

P&O Ferries’ ambitious plan was to have its fleet back in service with agency crew within ten days of the mass firings. Nonetheless, things did not go according to plan, and the company was still struggling to have all its vessels back into service by the end of May. All ten ships required inspection after P&O Ferries fired 800 of its seafarers.

Eventually, the fleet went back into service, but Peter Hebblethwaite was voted the world’s worst boss by the International Trade Union Confederation.

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4. Container Shipping Super-Profits and Falling Spot Rates

Container freight rates have steadily returned to pre-pandemic levels with spot rate showing consistent declines, which do not necessarily translate into losses for carriers. Quite the contrary, shipping lines have recorded profits for 2022. The forecast for the 2022 full-year net profits for liner shipping was set to reach $223 billion. This means 50.6 percent above the $148 billion posted in 2021.

European and Japanese Researchers Seek Cheaper Green Methanol

5. European and Japanese Researchers Seek Cheaper Green Methanol

Ten European and Japanese organizations began working on the Laurelin project, aimed at decreasing the large amounts of electricity and cost requirements needed to turn carbon dioxide (CO2) into methanol. The plan is to significantly reduce carbon intensity by using renewable energy to power the hydrogenation process. The result is green methanol, which is one of the frontrunners among the future fuels of the maritime industry.

6. The Return of Live Events

2022 marked the return of in-person events with conferences, exhibitions, seminars, and cocktail parties although many of them still had certain COVID restrictions. One event that made a strong comeback was Posidonia, an international shipping exhibition held in Greece every two years, as it was full with visitors from all around the world. Similarly, the return of the large SMM event in Hamburg, an international trade fair for shipbuilding, machinery and marine technology, took place in September and focused on the topic of decarbonization, the process of reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

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