Association de citoyens qui défendent l'environnement maritime



Landerneau 10th January 2017

Maritime transport has never been shipwrecked, besides that is impossible !

What will become of International Maritime Transport at this time. What future for smaller shipowners which have only one activity "transport". MOR GLAZ association wishes to share it's analysis of the situation and make it's own contribution to this vaste subject. The world's primary activity is without any doubt undergoing re-organisation. The world's main decision-makers are:

The banks and "piller of globalisation maritime transport " and a few others. It is sufficient for that, to be a little inquisitive and try to understand commercez ,trade, and the pressure that the world's major shipowners can exert on countries with ports. ( port structures, dredging and major investments.. etc..)

From 16th September 2016 the MOR GLAZ association, was worried about "for" the employees fate of South Korea's largest shipowner HANJIN (ranked world's 7th), whether seafarers or office staff. With a debt close to 5 billion USD, the Korean shipowner ended up being unsupported by the banks and pension funds. A wrong strategy by the banks or a lack of focus on the shipowners behalf, or quite simply shipping undergoing substantial reorganisation! The world's 7th largest shipowner (or rather the bankers) wanting to sell rapidly their "these" ships to the highest bidder. Did it fail because it was only the 7th largest transporter of containerised goods? Will maritime transport become the affair of 4 or 5 Financial Groups (shipowners) for International Trade

Less trade forces shipowners which can, to restructure, the social side having already undergone painful re-organisation at the beginning of the 80's with Flags of convenience, shipowners will have to strategically re-organise

The failure of the Korean HANJIN will have been an warning, which has made the world's biggest shipowners react, or can they still carry out cost saving in order to transport more goods. The pace will pick-up, maritime transport is cyclic, a conflict, a country in difficulty, politics a little more protectionism for continents, a consummer recovery, purchasing power in recession etc., can change rapidly this acivity and momentarily weaken it. Certain shipowners whose job it is, will come through better than the "shipowners" which will disappear. A real upheaval in underway in maritime transport (goods and property), a new course has just been set.

These giant container and other ships will they stop for months at anchor, engines stopped as the tankers in greece during the 70's, the MOR GLAZ Association does not think so!

When the MOR GLAZ association was rebuked in 2015, for using the expression "the unrestrained race for gigantic ships" were we right, we think so, for safety reasons. On the other hand, for the major shipowners, it was probably useful economically and strategically!

For decades, the world's shipowners surf on an incredible growth in trade (in 2016 trade reached 10 billion tonnes) There is no need to be an expert to see that it couldn't last, for obvious reasons!

When China was in full economic growth "development", a ship cost the shipowner around 15,000 USD per day, and could earn close to 200,000 USD during th same day (the phenomenon was the same for offshore oil). The returns for certain shipowners would have decreased by 9 to 10% per annum.

These massive returns attracted the banks and Anglo-Saxon investment funds. These have then heavily financed ship construction, creating over capacity in all transport areas, containers, raw materials, dry bulk, and those for oil products"

This over capacity of bulk carriers, gas tankers, container ships finished by sending freight prices to the bottom. How did the "specialists" the "economists" the "analysists" get it so wrong.

To remain competitive, alliances in maitime transport will increase. The French ship owner CMA-CGM took-over NOL the Sinapore shipowner reinforcing it's position as the world's 2nd largest shipowner. Last year CMA-CGM had a 7% increase in volume tranported and achieved a 600 million USD turnover. To anticipate the future, the way forward for International shipowners lies in commercial strategy and alliances.

The two big Chinese companies COSCO and CSCL have merged to create the world's 4th largest container company. Inspired by the airlines, the major shipowners have also forged alliances. Medium sized non professional shipowners are doomed to disappear, the same as in overland transport, there is no room for the weak, a sad fact. In a few years time, there should only remain the best operaters with good and low average age ships. However, viginlace must be maintained to ensure they do not establish "their" social, competion and safety monopolies

A country's independance relies on national shipowners. Of course these shipowners should be assisted, they must give priorty to the national flag, and national employment. This sector is strategic but not at any price and without reciprocity

The MOR GLAZ association remains convinced that maritime transport, even if in a difficult pass for certain shipowners, will refloat with forward looking stategies. We think that only the major shipowners will come through this crisis, in a sector which carries 90% of world trade. Will this new era be less prosperous as some pessimist experts predict, as a mayday!

Maritime transport has never been shipwrecked, besides it is not possible for geopolitical reasons!!

For the MOR GLAZ Association

Jean-Paul HELLEQUIN President