I believe we are living in an era of great disruption where it feels as though we are standing on the edge of a precipice preparing to take the next step into the abyss. Digital tools are being developed every day, along with their accompanying risks of cyber attacks. Groups are coalescing around multiple fuel studies with no clear winner on the horizon. Geo-political tensions are dramatically changing trading routes, and new markets are opening. Uncertainty abounds.
Despite these variables, however, the shipbuilding orderbook is hopping. Even in the absence of insight into the regulations and technologies that will be in play during a ship’s projected lifetime, some owners are heading full tilt into investing billions in ships today for a future operating environment that is still murky. Yes, there are market requirements that must be met, but are we navigating in the dark? Are we building towards another crash of the 2000’s where the newbuilding frenzy (along with a global financial crisis) toppled the markets?
As we peer into the void ahead, some are taking the leap of faith and some are waiting for clarity on key issues. My wish is for the industry to successfully navigate through these times and emerge stronger and better overall.