Leading shipping expert expects China to drive competition in the sector
Martin Stopford faced an audience of over 600 shipping industry figures in the City last Thursday at Merchant Taylors' Hall to discuss the future of the maritime sector.
At the event, hosted by international law firm Clyde & Co, Martin Stopford said that the shipping industry was in a great state of flux. Although the world fleet is growing at a rate of 7% per annum and European ship owners have an order book of US$170.5 billion, recessionary forces are still at play. However, he noted that "markets don't die, they just change" and said that the recession could be a force for good and drive innovation, giving rise to a "new meritocracy" where "those who rise to the challenge will survive and come out leaner and fitter." The increasing affluence of emerging markets is also changing patterns of trade and Martin Stopford expects the strongest competition to come from China.
Clyde & Co partner Nick Austin said: "We were delighted that Martin shared his views on the future of shipping with our guests. Many challenges lay ahead for the global shipping industry, not least increased regulation and an oversupply of tonnage, but the sector has historically proved itself robust and continues to flourish in many areas."