According to MANA, d'Ancona noted the 2003-2009 global shipping boom was not a normal period in the industry's history, with average earnings across the sectors as seen in the Clarksea Index at around $48,489 per day, compared with the period after, from 2009 to May 2017, at $10,095.
"Unfortunately, after the global financial crisis, everyone did try to get involved and thought they could do it, and thought that [boom period] was normal, but it wasn't."
The dry bulk sector seems to be improving after a long period of depressed freight rates, while the containership sector, which had been struggling for some time, needed an event such as the collapse of Hanjin Shipping before things could get better.
As for the offshore sector, Mr d'Ancona was of the view it required more 'medicine' before there could be any light seen at the end of the long, dark tunnel.
Shipyards, he said, will likely see more challenges ahead, with more owners preferring secondhand tonnage amid attractive asset prices.
Aside from the usual demand and supply issues, Mr d'Ancona said the advent of technology, in the form of the internet of things and smart shipping, could be a game-changer in the industry.
Information technology can be used to create value in shipping by improving transportation provided by vessels to ensure more efficient delivery of cargo.
The industry can benefit from the utilisation of big data to improve delivery and reduce incidents, while automation will greatly help in operations, navigation, personnel management and integrating fleet systems, he added.