Moore Stephens survey shows shipping confidence sustained at 6.4 out of 10, with respondents emphasising that freight rates will ultimately determine the health of the shipping market
CONFIDENCE in the prospects for the shipping industry remained high in the three months ending May 31, according to Moore Stephens’ Shipping Confidence Survey.
Respondents’ confidence levels over industry prospects remained unchanged at 6.4 out of 10, compared with the February survey, with some categories of the survey seeing increased confidence levels.
Net freight rate sentiment was significantly up in all the main tonnage categories, and the respondents emphasised that freight rates would ultimately determine the health of the shipping industry.
Shipping managers’ confidence ratings were up, at 6.7 from 6.4 previously.
The shipowners’ confidence rating held at a four-year high of 6.6, while charterers’ and brokers’ confidence ratings rose to 6.7 from 5 and 6.3 from 6.1, respectively.
Despite the rise in confidence, the likelihood of respondents making a major investment or significant development over the next 12 months was down on the previous survey from 5.5 to 5.2 out of a maximum possible score of 10.
According to the consultants, this was not unexpected given that the cost of finance seems set to rise over the same period.
However, finance is nevertheless available, and well-founded shipping projects will continue to attract investment, the report said.
“Generally speaking, confidence within shipping has held up well over the decade under some of the most exacting conditions the industry has faced in its long history,” said Moore Stephens partner Richard Greiner.
“Ten-year confidence averages out at 5.8 out of 10, testament to the durability of shipping evidenced by a continuing rise in the demand for its services and the accompanying significant growth in the world fleet.”
He added that the industry “continues to punch above its weight in terms of optimism, and there is nothing to suggest that recent signs of the start of a recovery will prove to be a false dawn”.