I’ll admit to a sensory overload and greater exhaustion than normal after attending my first shipping events in more than two and a half years this week. The lights, the noise, the people – it was rammed at Posidonia wherever you went. The exhibition has been the busiest, biggest ever with standing room only at many of the adjacent conferences; ample evidence of the fact that shipping is clearly enjoying quite a purple patch this year – the ClarkSea Index standing at $41,360 a day, with the average in the year to date up 158% on the 10-year trend.
The buzz at the show – and at many parties – would make the German organisers of SMM, the next big event on the maritime calendar, rub their hands with glee. Physical events in shipping are back in a big way.
I was disappointed in the level of marketing ambition by Asia’s shipyards at the show. Granted the Chinese could not attend because of covid, but they still had a stand full of ship models of existing ship designs.
Could Posidonia 2024 be even more buoyant that what we witnessed this week?
As a self-confessed shipping nerd, I was sure that this Posidonia would give visitors a glimpse of the future. I was thinking I’d be able to take lots of pictures of snazzy new looking ship models on the stands of the shipbuilders. They were not to be seen.
Perhaps, however, these stands reflected the audience they were marketing to as well as the fact that these yards are, by and large, now full up through to 2025.
At multiple conferences throughout the week big names in Greek shipowning repeatedly let it be known that they will not be leading the green newbuild charge, happy instead to wait for others to take the plunge and then give a bit of time for the dust to settle on proven next generation technologies. Indeed a noticeable difference this time around at Posidonia was the severe lack of headline-grabbing newbuild orders from the Greeks.
Still, this ordering restraint among dry bulk and tanker owners augurs well for their earning prospects in the next couple of years. Could Posidonia 2024 be even more buoyant that what we witnessed this week?