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World - War, fuel prices and all things green: shipping's top concerns in 2022

What keeps shipowner CEOs up at night? Attempting to find out is a survey carried out by the Global Maritime Forum, Marsh, and the International Union of Maritime Insurance.

The Global Maritime Issues Monitor 2022 has just been published, based on a survey conducted between April 4 and May 10 this year among a diverse set of maritime stakeholders with shipowner CEOs as the largest demographic.

As in 2021, decarbonisation of shipping was seen as the most impactful issue in 2022, followed by new environmental regulations. For both issues, the industry’s preparedness scored slightly higher this year.

“The maritime sector as a whole has become increasingly aware of the urgent need to transform and decarbonise,” said Professor Lynn Loo, CEO of the Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation.

She pointed to upcoming mandatory measures aimed at cutting the carbon intensity of international shipping, such as the Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI) and carbon intensity indicator (CII) adopted in June 2021 by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

“To start bending the curve on GHG emissions,” Professor Loo said, “we cannot afford to wait for individual pieces of puzzles to be in place before moving the others. We need to move simultaneously on advancing shipboard technology development and demonstration; financing the scale up of zero-carbon fuel production; and developing policies that level the playing field for adopting low- carbon solutions.”

Geopolitical tension, fuelled by the war in Ukraine, experienced one of the larger shifts in rated impact, rising from the ninth most impactful issue to third.

Workforce and skill shortages likewise experienced a significant rise in expected impact, placing as the fourth most impactful in 2022, compared to eleventh last year.

Unsurprisingly, fuel price increases placed fifth on the issues list, up from the tenth spot in 2021.

This year’s survey went into the field in April, at which point Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was in its third month and the rise in fuel prices globally was well underway. It was of little surprise that geopolitical tensions and fuel price increases jumped higher on the list of the most likely issues for the maritime industry.

Eric Aboussouan, director of strategy, investments and partnerships, and digitalization at Cargill Ocean Transportation, commented: “As the world becomes more polarised, and shipping remains global, headwinds for the shipping industry are real.”

Pandemics, in the survey for the third year, dropped from the number four spot in impact in 2021 to the number 13 spot in 2022.

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