Tighter regulations and improved markets will add to costs in forthcoming years, warns Moore Stephens in its annual OpCost report.
Bulkers and tankers showed the biggest overall declines in 2017 compared with a year earlier, while a drop in insurance claims led to lower overall expenses
SHIPPING operating costs have fallen for a sixth successive year, according to accountant and shipping consultant Moore Stephens.
Total annual operating costs fell by 1.3% in 2017 compared with a 1.1% average fall in 2016, according to a statement unveiling the consultancy’s OpCost report.
The biggest cost reduction came from insurance because of an overall decline in “large, expensive casualties” during the past few years, followed by provisions.
Decreases in crew costs, and repairs and maintenance also contributed to the fall in overall operating expenses.
Bulkers and tankers showed the biggest drops, by 1.9% and 1.7% respectively, the same as the year before, while containers saw overall costs decline by 1.3%, greater than the previous year.
Looking ahead, challenges remain, that may lead to higher operating costs, said partner for shipping and transport Richard Greiner.
“There are some big challenges ahead for the industry which will test owners, operators, charterers and investors alike,” he said in the statement.
“Planning must continue for implementation of the Ballast Water Management Convention, and decisions made on how to finance it. Measures to detect and eliminate cyber crime will come at a price in terms of hardware, software and manpower.”
Meeting the International Maritime Organization’s sulphur cap regulation from 2020 will also be costly, he said.
And as shipping markets improve, so will its costs, he concluded.