Unpredictable conditions ahead but shipping confidence holds steady


Despite the Russian invasion of Ukraine dominating news headlines and creating economic uncertainty, overall confidence in the shipping industry has stayed strong, according to the latest Shipping Confidence Report by accountancy and business advice specialist BDO, based on a survey it conducted in February 2023.

BDO adds that shipping confidence has stayed at ‘historically high’ levels of around 7/10 for the last 24 months.

This general trend is not reflected in intentions to make a major investment in the next 12 months, however, BDO notes. The investment measure of confidence has been very volatile over the last 12 months with intentions for Brokers and Asia, in particular, seeing huge changes in just the last six months.

In its latest survey, BDO specifically asked about expectations of the Baltic Dry Index in the next 12 months following the BDI’s progressive decline over the last 18 months. Expectations are that the BDI will be below its current level of c. 1,450. This is a more pessimistic outlook than a year ago when respondents expected the BDI to climb up from levels around 2,000.

Overall confidence has held steady since August 2022 with a score of 7.1/10. This is slightly lower than the historic highs seen in 2022. Confidence in Europe has similarly held steady, while Asia has seen confidence up slightly at 7.2/10.

Confidence has improved for Managers and Brokers but fallen very slightly from historic highs for Owners, where evels of confidence are at 6.8/10, 7.5/10 and 7.6/10 respectively.