Mon | May 16, 2022

2021 Year in Review: Nine stories that shaped shipping – Part 2

Published:Tuesday | January 4, 2022 | 12:06 AM
Container shipping blew past mid-year projections, hitting US$150 billion in the year past.
Container shipping blew past mid-year projections, hitting US$150 billion in the year past.

This is the second of a two-part series reviewing the past year’s impact on the shipping industry.

Much like the year that preceded it, 2021 saw numerous challenges in the maritime industry often characterised by the coronavirus pandemic. As it stands, many of these issues will continue into the new year, as will COVID-19, with their impact on shipping to persist for some time yet.

While many look forward to 2022, we take time to review the events that helped shape the industry last year.

FAREWELL TO SHIPPING ICONS HARRY MARAGH, JOSEPH LOWE, AND ROBERT BELL

The Jamaican shipping community lost three of its stalwarts – Harriat ‘Harry’ Maragh, Joseph Lowe, and Robert Bell – during the year. The three were important cogs in the development of local and regional maritime affairs, whose contributions will inspire the current and next generations.

Maragh was the owner and chairman/CEO of Lannaman and Morris Group of companies and also helmed the Shipping Association of Jamaica (SAJ) as president from 2003 to 2006, remaining on the Managing Committee as an honourary member.

Lowe was former managing director of International Shipping Limited and a member of the SAJ’s Managing Committee from 2005 to 2015. He also served as director and group operations manager of Maritime and Transport Services Limited.

Bell was chairman of the SAJ from 1974 to 1975. Across his decades-long career, he would serve as vice-president of Chester, Blackburn, and Rhoder; vice-president of operations at Kirk Line, and later held a similar position at Seaboard Marine Caribbean after it acquired Kirk Line.

CONTAINER SHIPPING TO SURPASS PROJECTED US$150 BILLION

Drewry, an independent maritime research consultancy, projected that container shipping would hit a record US$100 billion by year end. Drewry has since updated its July forecast to an ‘eye-watering’ figure of US$150 billion due in large part to a strong third quarter and a longer supply chain recovery timeline. “Stronger-than-expected spot rate movement in the third quarter and a longer supply chain recovery timeline are behind our reason to upgrade the outlook for average global freight rates – spot and contract – for 2021,” Drewry said.

IMO ADOPTS NEW MEASURES TO REDUCE EMISSIONS

The International Maritime Organization introduced new measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions commercial vessels in June. The steps will require vessels to reduce emissions by improving energy efficiency and all ships to calculate energy efficiency and create an annual operational carbon intensity indication, which connects emissions to the amount of cargo being transported over distance travelled.

CARIBBEAN RESEARCH INSTITUTE LAUNCHED

The Caribbean Research Institute (CRI) was launched by the Caribbean Shipping Association in May. The CRI will provide members and subscribers with biannual reports that provide accurate and timely information on maritime data and analyses. The much-anticipated first report is due in early 2022.