Shipping industry bouncing back from effects of coronavirus
The shipping industry, like many others, was hit bad by the onset of the novel virus. With governments putting out policies that put restrictions on many operations, it looked like the industry came to a halt. Demand for certain goods plummeted, and everything from oil tankers to container ships was affected. Apart from the strain on financial growth, motivation has also been affected. However, the industry is gearing up for a comeback with the ease of restrictions.
It started with the shipping industry in China experiencing a downfall in operations since the virus started from there. Gradually, other parts of the world began to feel the ripple effect since most of the industry’s prosperity is tied to China. As time went on, the problem got worse, especially between January to March, with no certainty about what the future holds.
By April, there was a glimpse of hope with the numbers showing a significant increase in the demand for services, especially from some parts of Asia, including South Korea and Japan. This increase in demand spelt improvement in the market, meaning things could go back to normal. But with the uncertainty still lurking, this improvement should be considered as a critical stage, and so there still needs to be an eye on the industry.
With this increase in demand and potential bounce-back of the industry, stakeholders are taking strides to take their ships back on the sea for business. With some being idle, there has been a need for maintenance so that there can be as little interruptions as possible. At such a volatile time, shipping managers, in particular, cannot afford not to be prepared. Many are looking to Alfa Laval Distributors UK, for example, to replace old and worn out parts for more efficient running or the ships.
Safety measures on ships have also been strict about leaving no room for accidents and the spread of any illnesses. Basic supplies, including gloves, hand sanitizer, and disinfectants, rubbing alcohol and cough medicine, are to be made available for everyone on board, including health workers. All companies engaged in shipping are expected to adhere to the guidelines outlined by authority bodies like WHO. Shipowners are also expected to conduct very detailed training on identifying symptoms of the coronavirus illness as well as to conduct pre-boarding screening.
Also, attention is being given to ensuring all stakeholders have the right documentation for operations. All activities on the sea are being monitored to ensure that there are no mishaps. Authorities are working hand in hand with ship owners, managers, port operators and other recognised bodies in the maritime and shipping sector, all in the best interest of the industry.
Some borders are still closed to operations of the shipping sector, and stakeholders are also seeking out more efficient ways to go around such obstacles so as to not experience too much of a setback.
While it is a good sign that things are getting back to normal for some industries, the times are still critical, and so there is no room for complacency.