22 April 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic could prove to be the catalyst that forces shipping to undergo the radical adjustments needed if it is to get anywhere close to the decarbonisation and efficiency gains that the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) set out for 2050. That is at least the opinion of the internationally renowned shipping economist Dr Martin Stopford, president of Clarkson Research Services. In a new White Paper, Dr Stopford assesses the impact of the coronavirus on maritime trade, shipbuilding, and ship technology between now and the middle of the century. His analysis examines three scenarios in a model that he has developed and enhanced since the downturn of the 1980s. The outcomes range from ‘uncomfortable’ to ‘dire’, particularly as they coincide with shipping’s requirement to embrace the digital revolution and the need to adopt new fuels that are not yet available, let alone tried and tested. The White Paper is freely available from the Seatrade Maritime News website.