SMM survey highlights supplier optimism

Hamburg Messe, organisers of SMM, the world’s largest shipping exhibition, has revealed the results of its biennial survey, which paints a neat picture of the winners and losers in today’s heavily regulated, fiercely competitive maritime world.

“The overall 2020 business outlook is pointing upward, which is mostly driven by the suppliers. In comparison, shipping and shipyards are less optimistic,” SMM observed, having tallied its results.

With ballast water and sulphur cap regulations coming into play and further fuel crackdowns likely on the agenda plus digital developers proliferating, it is little surprise to see suppliers are currently very optimistic about sales prospects.

SMM sent a questionnaire out to 44,787 people, of which 1,493 respondents completed it in its entirety.

Less than one third – 28% – of owners polled are planning to buy new ships, slightly lower compared with SMM’s 2017 survey.

Of those mulling a purchase, LNG carriers were by far the most popular choice.

LNG also proved the most popular choice for fuel options going forward, according to the SMM survey.

Shipyards polled revealed that while the demand among those involved in repair is predicted to remain brisk into 2020, further consolidation among shipbuilders was deemed inevitable.

SMM, founded in 1963, returns on September 8 next year.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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