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The crisis reappears, how should we act?

Views: 4     Author: China inspection     Publish Time: 2020-05-26      Origin: China inspection

A full two years ago, countless media once again put the beginning and end of the "2008 International Financial Crisis" and its impact on the market outlook in front of readers. That year is 2018. In the past two years, another event that shook the world will be compared with that international financial crisis.

The new coronavirus (COVID-19) pneumonia epidemic (hereinafter referred to as the new coronary pneumonia epidemic) broke out in early 2020, and then spread widely around the world. In order to effectively control the spread of the epidemic, many countries “closed the city” and began to “close the country”. Over the years, we seem to have become accustomed to a highly globalized life: we can buy the goods we want on a global scale and sell them to any corner of the world; capital flows around the world on a large scale, and multinational companies can go to other places. When a country opens a factory, it can also invest or even acquire assets of other countries; ordinary people can travel, study, and settle in any country or region in the world. Recently, there have been comments that after the new coronary pneumonia epidemic, the globalized world that we used to be familiar with may become another look.

Increased trade protection

According to the latest forecast of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the global economy will fall into negative growth in 2020. In the latest issue of the "World Economic Outlook" released by the IMF not long ago, it lowered the previous (January 2020) forecast that the "global economy will grow at a rate of 3.3% in 2020", combined with new coronary pneumonia The development of the epidemic believes that the global economy may experience a negative 3% growth this year. IMF President Kristalina Georgieva (Kristalina Georgieva) said in a statement that in 2020, the global economy will show negative growth, and this economic recession will be at least the "2008 international financial crisis" period Same, even more serious.

In the face of the economic recession, the instinctive response of some countries is to implement trade protection and to reject other countries ’goods in different ways and in substantially the same way. Many materials and articles take the Great Depression of the 1930s as an example: At that time, the US's sharp increase in tariffs triggered many countries to fight back, and global trade protectionism entered a climax, which not only exacerbated the global economic recession, but also made the The end of the first round of globalization led by Britain. And will the emerging global economic recession trigger another round of trade protectionism? In fact, before the outbreak of this epidemic, trade protectionism had risen. The US government followed the principle of "US first" and not only engaged in a "trade war" with China, but also targeted its European allies. There is a view that this epidemic has led to economic recession in various countries, or will escalate the protectionism that has risen.

Freedom of trade has promoted the prosperity of trade globalization, and the shipping industry has also developed. The most recent example is that some time before 2008 (2004-2008), the competitiveness of developing countries increased, terminal goods flooded into the West, and the shipping industry gained a lot. However, in the face of the severe economic situation, it is an indisputable fact that Western countries protect their products, markets and industrial chains in the form of trade protection. After the outbreak of this outbreak, many developed countries began to find that their production capacity for masks, protective clothing and ventilators was seriously insufficient. As a result, they began to reflect on whether they should lay out an industrial chain on a larger scale in the world, rather than relying heavily on developed countries such as China. For certain key industries, even if the country does not have a comparative advantage, from a strategic perspective Shouldn't some industries return to their country? Once these actions are finally put into practice by more and more countries, it means that there will be a greater degree of regression in trade globalization. As trade protectionism becomes more and more serious, there is no doubt that the global shipping industry will also suffer a major blow.

Act quickly to avoid the recurrence of tragedy

For the shipping industry, the volume of goods caused by the economic recession and trade protection will plummet.

Let us first review the scenes after the 2008 international financial crisis. At that time, a large amount of capacity was forced to stop due to the decline in market purchasing power, and excess capacity was too serious to be resolved by idleness and dismantling. Take the container transportation market as an example. In 2007, the container traffic volume of the Far East-Northwest Europe route increased by about 16.5% compared with the previous year. By the second half of 2008, the market freight volume plummeted. In the fall of 2007, $ 2700 / FEU fell to $ 200 / FEU. Liner companies can't make ends meet, and some small shipping companies have since faded out of the industry.

The situation today is very similar. Affected by geopolitical factors, some countries are in a delicate state in the trade field, coupled with the new coronary pneumonia epidemic, the trade flow between countries has become blocked and slow, which has greatly hindered market goods. Volume growth. At the same time, the excessively long transport chain also made some companies reflect on whether they should relocate production lines to their home countries. According to IMF statistics, various countries have taken various measures to deal with the new coronary pneumonia epidemic. As of now, investors have withdrawn about 83 billion US dollars from emerging markets, which is the largest capital withdrawal in history. It may mean a potential fact that regional or land transportation has increased and ocean transportation has decreased.

The current situation of idle capacity is similar to that of the international financial crisis, and even more so. At that time, almost all liner companies were expanding their existing capacity and capacity under construction. However, due to insufficient global consumption capacity, shipowners could only reduce their expenses and alleviate excess capacity by means of suspension. The current situation is even more serious. According to Alphaliner statistics, since the second quarter of this year alone, more than 250 scheduled voyages have been cancelled, and some seriously affected routes have withdrawn as much as 30% of their capacity. The agency specifically pointed out in a report that with the accelerated spread of the new coronary pneumonia epidemic, global trade has been hit hard. The container transportation market has launched the largest ever suspension plan. The idle capacity has rapidly increased and the scale will exceed 3 million TEU , Reaching the highest level in history. From the perspective of Alphaliner analysts: "Almost all important routes have large capacity withdrawals, and no market segment is immune. Although the carrier replaces small capacity with large ships in the existing route market, it will still be forced to idle for a large amount. Part of the capacity. "In other words, idleness alone may not be able to balance the supply and demand of the market, and only the growth in volume can solve it.

However, unlike the international financial crisis, although the reduction in cargo volume has led to a decline in the average space utilization rate of container ships, the current market freight rate is relatively stable, and there has not been a cliff-like decline as in 2008. According to SeaIntelligence forecast, if the freight rate cannot be prevented, the entire container transportation market is expected to face a loss of 23.4 billion US dollars, which will smooth the profit of the top 15 liner companies in the past eight years (20.9 billion US dollars). Therefore, the current method of suspending flights and revoking shipping capacity can effectively prevent the occurrence of "catastrophic freight rates" and thereby reduce the relatively high transportation costs during extraordinary times. Perhaps after the last international financial crisis, liner companies have already predicted the abnormal market in extraordinary times, and because of this, the panic in the market has not spread too much.

In more than ten years, technology has been developing, digitalization and intelligence have extended from our lives to the industry we are in. The shipping industry and the entire logistics industry have opened a far-reaching digital transformation, a new intelligent carrier of shipping needs As the times require, the shipping industry is setting off a greater trend in the application of digital solutions. Whether it is a pilot application of CargoSmart, COSCO Shipping Lines, Shanghai Port Group and Tesla, which uses a digital solution to transform the existing cargo release process, or a number of port and shipping companies. The creation of the first blockchain alliance (GSBN) in the shipping industry all reflects that digitalization will become the new normal trend of shipping. Digital solutions also shine during the port operation. After the outbreak of the New Coronary Pneumonia, most ports around the world had to re-examine their working procedures, and expanding the use of digital tools has become a way for ports to ensure the smooth progress of their work. Xu Kai, Director of the Shipping Information Research Institute of Shanghai International Shipping Research Center, believes that: "Under the new coronary pneumonia epidemic, unexpected factors such as the sudden slowdown of freight activities and the increase in the uncertainty of port operations have put forward more High and more urgent requirements. With the accelerated application of new technologies, the era of smart shipping has come faster than expected. "Many industry insiders believe that if paperless, automated, intelligent and other digital transformation methods are used, the shipping industry will be greatly reduced The dependence of human resources may turn crises into opportunities and promote the shipping industry to accelerate the exploration of online service models and the pace of digital transformation. This is precisely the new attempt of the rapidly developing shipping industry. It is for this reason that today's shipping industry may be able to withstand the impact of the economic recession and volume reduction.

Affecting the ship market is only temporary

Affected by the epidemic, some shipbuilding companies delayed the start of construction, the global shipbuilding production schedule was forced to be delayed, and new shipbuilding orders fell sharply. According to the statistics of the Baltic International Shipping Association (BIMCO), as of the first quarter of this year, only 127 new shipbuilding orders (approximately 7.402 million deadweight tons) were traded globally, a year-on-year decrease of 58.2%. Tons, lower than last year ’s 14.7 million deadweight tons; of which, only 36 new orders (about 2.707 million deadweight tons) were added to the shipbuilding market in March. Although it increased by 43.1% from February, it still shrank by 43.8% year-on-year.

Peter Sand, chief shipping analyst at BIMCO, commented: "For the uncertainty of future environmental regulations and the sluggish growth prospects of demand in the next few years, many ship owners will think twice before ordering new ships. Market sentiment and global shipping demand The sharp decline will also further reduce the number of new ship orders. "Bao Zhangjing, deputy director of the China Shipbuilding Industry Comprehensive Technology and Economic Research Institute, also said:" Due to the epidemic situation, some shipbuilding enterprises in China have delayed the start of construction, and there may be some delays in the shipbuilding production schedule. And the shrinking demand in the shipping market will definitely affect the shipbuilding market. The epidemic will have some negative impacts on the Chinese economy and the world economy in the short term, and it will also have many unfavorable factors on the global maritime trade, shipping market and offshore operation market, which will inevitably affect the transaction of new ship orders. To a certain extent, it may lower the volume of new ship transactions for the whole year, especially the orders received by the Chinese shipbuilding industry. "

Recall that twelve years ago, the outbreak of the international financial crisis led to shrinking demand, new shipbuilding orders decreased staggeringly, and some shipbuilding enterprises with weak capital strength and low product technology content were eliminated by the market. At present, the international shipping market is still considered to be at the bottom of the downturn, and the spread of the new coronary pneumonia epidemic has caused the global economy to fall into recession. In addition to the difficult recovery of the shipping market, the investment confidence of shipowners and financial institutions may face a serious impact. However, the current situation and investors' ideas are very different from 2008. At that time, the international financial crisis caused major problems in the capital chain of shipping companies. Shipowners abandoned or delayed orders, and some financial institutions began to prudently issue loans for ship-related enterprises. The shipbuilding industry cold wave appeared. Now, as the impact of the new coronary pneumonia epidemic gradually subsides, it will be an established fact that the global demand for new shipbuilding will rebound significantly, and the emergence of the "Poseidon Agreement" may bring dawn to green ships. June 18, 2019, co-sponsored by the Rocky Mountain Institute, the Global Maritime Forum, and the Energy Institute of the University of California, Los Angeles, including Citibank, Industrial Bank, and Bank of Norway (DNB ASA), Danish Ship Finance ), The 11 major shipping financing banks in the world including the German Bank of Communications and Credit (DVB), jointly signed a “Poseidon Agreement” that aims to allow financing institutions to focus on supporting environmentally friendly ships when issuing new loans. To help achieve the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2050. This is the first criterion implemented by the global financial industry to participate in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and environmental protection will be regarded as one of the priority conditions for shipping loans. It can be considered that when high-tech ships and highly intelligent ships become the carrier of future shipping owners, financial institutions will not only use market trends as the judging condition, and ship value is the fundamental basis.

Shipbuilding methods and processes are also undergoing disruptive changes, and the popularity of 3D printing is one of them. Cao Lin, senior analyst of China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation Economic Research Center, said that models and products that have been successfully applied in 3D printing technology can be vigorously promoted and applied in the shipbuilding industry, especially in the R & D and design stage, 3D printing can form an advantage with traditional manufacturing technology Complementary. "In the medium term, a number of 3D printing manufacturing and repair technologies for marine complex structural parts, special parts, alloy components, composite materials components are expected to achieve breakthroughs, and eventually develop in the direction of large-scale and lightweight."

If the outbreak occurred 12 years ago, its impact on the shipbuilding industry may be much greater than it is now. The reason for this is that today's shipbuilding process has been highly digitized. For example, Nantong COSCO Shipping Kawasaki has made many explorations in the exploration of intelligent transformation, integrating advanced manufacturing technology with information technology, automation technology, communication technology, and artificial intelligence technology to promote the construction of intelligent manufacturing workshops and improve the quality and efficiency of shipbuilding. Today's shipyards are making more use of digitization to enhance manufacturing and service capabilities, integrating digitization into products, and implementing intelligent manufacturing through online monitoring, remote diagnosis, VR / AR and other technologies.

The sudden epidemic has brought a certain impact on shipbuilding companies, but it also puts forward new requirements for related companies to respond to emergencies-speed up automation, intelligent manufacturing and construction-once employees are difficult to place, it will directly affect the production of the company, so In the context of the country's vigorous promotion of intelligent manufacturing, shipbuilding companies must gradually increase the level of automation and intelligent manufacturing to achieve fewer factories.

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