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Neil Dekker

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Supply chain congestion: The pandemic and beyond

Posted by Neil Dekker on 22 Dec 2021

Initiated by the pandemic, pressure on the current global supply chain is likely to continue for the near to-mid-term, providing opportunities and risks for liner operators, and challenges for cargo owners

The COVID-19 pandemic has not only exacerbated long-standing shortfalls in the global supply chain, but it has also created new pressure points, including crew quarantines, local port shutdowns, and labour shortages. During the spring and summer of 2020, while ports mostly remained open to support continuing supply of essential goods, non-essential trades were actively deferred. At the time, given the uncertainty of the pandemic’s impact upon economic demand, as of March 2020, container sector analysts were forecasting a global decline in containerised cargo volumes of about 10% year-on-year for the full year. It was in this context that, by July 2020, as initial lockdowns were lifted, circa 9% of the global container fleet capacity (in excess of 300 vessels) had been idled. As pent-up demand drove global growth, there was a rapid readjustment of liner capacity as vessels quickly rejoined their former trade routes.

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Containership owners feast in the newbuilding market

Posted by Neil Dekker on 16 Aug 2021

Driven by an unexpected surge in demand and record profitability in the last 12 months, owners have returned to the newbuilding market to capitalise on the global requirements for additional capacity.

While war chests have evidently been sufficiently strengthened to prompt a sharp increase in tonnage acquisitions and newbuilding orders, it would be wrong to dismiss the prospect of any future risks down the line for investors.

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The Roadmap to Decarbonisation - Liner Fuel Choices Remain Under The Spotlight

Posted by Neil Dekker on 25 May 2021

A carbon-free maritime sector may seem a distant prospect, but the largest liner operators are aready making plans to comply with regulatory measures well in advance of the key 2050 deadline. However, many questions need to be answered and challenging decisions need to be made.

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Liner Spot Freight Rates - Hitting The Right Balance At Last

Posted by Neil Dekker on 18 Sep 2020

Liner spot freight rates have recently defied traditional and current logic, reaching record levels. In early-March 2020 most freight analysts predicted Armageddon for the liner sector with cargo volumes falling off the proverbial cliff. What has since transpired?

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I'll take the high road - Liner strategies for 2020 remain divided

Posted by Neil Dekker on 12 Jul 2019

Liner operators have decided on their strategies to cater for the IMO’s low-sulphur regulations from January 2020, but their commercial reactions and costs will vary, and so will impact on profitability next year and beyond.  

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China-US tension creates uneven liner risks

Posted by Neil Dekker on 23 May 2019

The latest round of tariff increases imposed by the US on Chinese-made goods will, we believe, impose different levels of potential risk on the major liner operators. Second-time around, the wider market ramifications could also be more significant. 

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Irrational Ordering? Container Shipping Supply and Demand Hangs in the Balance

Posted by Neil Dekker on 7 Mar 2019

Is it business as usual for ocean carriers as they continue to buy large vessel assets? In a rapidly changing market, it is important that shipping lines have sufficient liquidity to pay for assets that some would argue are, in certain cases, not even required.

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How Will the Container Industry Recover USD20bn in Fuel Costs Post-2020?

Posted by Neil Dekker on 18 Jan 2019

This week's Insight has come from one of our new colleagues and industry veteran Neil Dekker, formerly of Drewry and the Informa and Safmarine groups, who has covered the liner sector for over 25 years.

The way in which ocean carriers price their services has significantly changed in 2019 because of new IMO low sulphur fuel regulations due to be enforced on 1 January 2020. The companies are now more cost-driven and will focus on yield management in an effort to drive profits – after what will inevitably be a poor 2018 financial performance for the majority.

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