What do Panama and Gibraltar have in common? What about Singapore and Malta? In addition, there are many others such as The Bahamas, the Netherlands Antilles, Cyprus, Liberia, Marshall Islands and Vanuatu. They all are major players when it comes to the consolidated business of convenience flags.
Greenland is important in that controlling the island provides significant access to the Arctic Ocean, abundant in resources such as oil, natural gas, iron ore, copper and nickel. Emerging sea routes, due to the reduction of ice sheets, further increase the geopolitical capital of holding influence over the region.
Marine gas oil (MGO), marine diesel oil, and other refined and crude oils are the most common fuels that power the global shipping industry’s thousands of ships. These fuel types have been around for decades but, as of recently, they have been the focus of climate change activism in the maritime industry and far beyond due to their significant CO2, sulfur oxide, and nitrogen oxide pollution contributing to global warming.
Japan and South Korea are among the largest economies in Asia. Post World War II, both economies grew at rapid pace, becoming the economic powerhouses we know today. Unfortunately, things are not as rosy as they seem; both countries are undergoing a trade dispute on top of rising military and geopolitical tensions.
Since around 114 BC, the Silk Road has revolutionized trade between Europe and East-Asia. Now, a new route is emerging that can transform global shipping as we know it today. That new route, the Northern Sea Route, passes from the edge of Alaska to the top of Scandinavia along Russia’s barren Siberian coastline and could be up to 2 weeks faster than the mainstream Suez Canal Passage.
Greece is a country with a population of nearly 11 million, which is 0.15% of the world’s total population and ranks 51st in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) being responsible for only 0.35% of the global GDP. Nevertheless, Greece has managed to reach and maintain a leading position in the global shipping industry. In particular, Greek shipping companies own almost 21% of the world’s merchant fleet, being the leader in Deadweight Tonnage with about 53.03% of the European fleet. The role that the Greek shipping industry carries out for the European Union is extremely significant and here is why: it transfers 87% of EU’s crude oil imports, 70% of EU’s natural gas imports, 40% of EU’s solid fossil fuels imports and it is responsible for transferring a big portion of EU’s exports, of which, 75.5% relies on shipping.
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.