Growth and opportunity in 2021
Growth and Opportunity in 2021
The impact of COVID-19 has been felt across all parts of the marine sector, but Neil Graham, Technical Director of marine engineering and propulsion specialist Royston, sees signs for optimism in the next 12 months as demand returns and vessel operators take advantage of digitalisation.
During 2020, vessel operating costs rose at their fastest rate in over a decade, according to Ship Operating Costs Annual Review and Forecast 2020/21 from the global shipping consultancy Drewry. The sharp increase has been attributed to higher insurance premiums and Covid-related expenses as vessel operating costs have been severely hit by the pandemic. Its analysis also reveals that costs shot up in the second half of the year as repair facilities reopened, unleashing pent-up demand, while expenses involved in crew manning and repatriation arrangements have also increased.
Indeed, it’s hard to argue against the image of a sector that has seen tough times in the last 12 months, one that has striven to cut costs even further and maintain a semblance of normal activity in the teeth of a crisis that continues to grip the world. The impact on maintenance and engineering activities, including the provision of marine engine overhaul and repair services, has also been brought into sharp focus following the scramble to complete jobs and repatriate people located in some of the most remote parts of the world.
However, what is changing as we examine measures that maybe considered tighter now than before, is that people are learning to live with the pandemic – they are becoming more experienced working within the limitations and restrictions currently imposed on movement and operations.