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New Year message from Baltic Exchange Chairman Denis Petropoulos

This is a time where we should be celebrating with many of our members the annual Vasilopita gatherings and wishing as much good fortune and safe sailing for the year ahead. But lockdowns and restrictions make this difficult.

Shipping often manages to resist adverse currents and navigate the choppy waters of uncertainty that lie ahead, and for the first part of 2020 it did just that. Then the impact of the coronavirus ravaged the socioeconomic world as we knew it. Geopolitics also played its part as the year unfolded and global trades changed dramatically. The challenges to shipping, from bulk trades to manufactured goods, were in the hands of the consumers and the consequential market volatilities.

Thankfully there is some light at the end of the tunnel with the accelerating rollout of vaccines, but all the countries that depend on cargoes departing and arriving will be at different points in that cycle throughout the upcoming year, and even beyond. The world returning to some sort of normality is still some way off, but we might expect the gradual process of recovery as we enter Q2.

The Baltic Exchange’s uninterrupted working relationship with its panellist members continues to ensure that the tools that help manage volatility are reliably produced. The importance of all the people involved cannot be understated, ranging from our seafarers, technical and commercial managers, shipbrokers, financiers, insurers and principal shipowners and cargo owners ensuring safe carriage of goods.

Finally, it remains our responsibility that the many young people that joined our business pre-pandemic and those lining themselves up for maritime careers need to be continually encouraged as well as mentored to be part of the chain.

I wish you well in this year where the environment and corporate responsibility will play as large a part as the technical and commercial aspects of our business.
Source: The Baltic Exchange

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