UNITED Kingdom firm, Moore Stephens has identifies positive approach as the best attitude to tackle the challenges of 2015.
According to Moore Stephens, shipping needs to adopt a can-do attitude in order to successfully meet the challenges, which are likely to come its way in 2015.
Moore Stephens shipping partner Richard Greiner said: "Shipping confidence started 2014 on a six-year high and ended it on a two-year low. It is difficult to predict with any certainty what the next 12 months will bring, beyond further uncertainty. To paraphrase an old adage, shipping goes into 2015 needing to accept the things it cannot change, to change the things it can change, and to make sure it understands the difference between the two.
"Top of the list of things which shipping cannot change is the relentless march of regulation. In 2015, this will assume still more onerous proportions with the inception of new regulations governing Emissions Control Areas, and a further step towards ratification of the BWT Convention.
"Overtonnaging, meanwhile, is top of the list of things which shipping can change. Accelerated scrapping is needed, together with an acknowledgement that there are already too many ships on the market and that, absent some form of rationalisation, freight rates will not pay the bills.
"One area where shipping can demonstrate that it knows the difference between what it can and cannot change is in its attitude to private equity. Does private equity not know what the rest of us know, or does it know something the rest of us do not? Rather than bemoaning the short-term commitment of private equity, shipping should be looking to tick the boxes, which attract such investors.
"Operating costs will go up in 2015, along with the cost of regulation, while it would be no surprise if oil prices were to go up faster than freight rates over the course of the year. Environmentalists will be happier with shipping. There will be increased interest in risk management, without which there will be still more new building disputes of the type currently sitting on the desks of arbitrators, and more companies following the unhappy route into bankruptcy taken at the end of last year by OW Bunker."
Greiner added: "Shipping embarks on a new year with confidence in a fragile state. The industry is volatile, and will be looking for improved political stability and a stronger global economy. But it should not underestimate its proven ability to endure throughout crises. The biggest danger may lie not in setting the targets too high and falling short, but in setting the targets too low and achieving them."
The year 2014 saw the International Maritime Organization (IMO) actively pursuing its targets and objectives in a wide range of subject areas. In these pages we present some of the highlights of what was a busy, varied and successful year for the Organization.
Safety remained a high priority during 2014. IMO adopted the safety provisions of the Polar Code and SOLAS amendments to make it mandatory. Also adopted were important measures addressing container safety and enclosed space entry drills. Several amendments entered into force during the year. Domestic ferry safety was also a topic of concern.
2014 proved a busy and productive year for IMO on the environmental front. Among the highlights were the adoption of the environmental provisions of the Polar Code and the entry into force of the Emission Control Area for the United States and Caribbean Sea. Further progress was also made on extending and developing energy efficiency measures for ships.
IMO joined other UN bodies in calling for action to address irregular maritime migration, an increasing problem from the point of view of loss of life at sea as well as a burden on shipping. The Facilitation Committee moved forward on e-business and the single window concept, approving a completely revised Annex to the FAL Convention, while the Facilitation and Maritime safety Committees agreed to look into cyber security. Action against piracy and armed robbery against ships remained a high priority off the coasts of Africa.
IMO was involved in a series of capacity-building projects across the globe including ship recycling, energy efficiency, counter-piracy and stowaways.
Source: all Africa. 14 January 2015