On the 23rd of June 2016, a majority of 51.9% of British voters chose for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union. As we near the end of this almost three-and-a-half-year ride, it is more important than ever to understand the effect that Brexit could have on European shipping as a whole. Just to put into perspective the significance of Brexit’s potential effects on shipping for the EU and the UK, British trade to the EU comprises just under half of the UK’s total trade volume. Overall, the general theme of the potential effects for the UK are increased delivery times, increased costs, a decrease in trade volume, and a fall in registration of British vessels & GT (gross tonnage).
While crises in the past saw freight and charter rates increase again after short shock waves, the current one is far from over regarding the persistent overcapacities and the peculiar appetite of owners to order tonnage in years of crisis. The race what liner is going to come out of the crisis as the winner has begun.