Page 13: of Maritime Logistics Professional Magazine (Q1 2015)

LNG Transport & Technology

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Some of the gloss may have come off those improved ? g- ures in the early part of this year, but the real taking point at the moment is the Baltic Dry Index which, having nudged towards 12,000 in mid-2008, was hovering at around 770 in

January 2015 and, at the time of writing, was very close to an all-time low. The market is very volatile, and likely to remain so for some time. Con? dence in the shipping industry was at its highest level for six years in ? rst-quarter 2014. Sadly, how- ever, it closed the year on a two-year low.

One needn’t be a rocket scientist, or even a naval architect, to appreciate that overtonnaging is a signi? cant factor in de- pressing freight rates, which in turn impacts adversely on in- dustry con? dence. Despite increased scrapping, and despite the paucity of traditional bank ? nance, there are still too many ships on the market to carry the cargoes available. For as long as this is the case, freight rates will remain under pressure.

OpEx: Crew Costs in the Spotlight

So far as operating costs are concerned, it is instructive to see where the industry is spending its money. Once again, crew costs were the headline ? gure in 2013, when they were the only category of expenditure to show an increase over the 12-month period. This time it was a comparatively small rise for an in-

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Maritime Logistics Professional magazine is published six times annually.