With the pandemic nearing a year since it had begun, it has affected a lot of industries in the world. One of the most affected ones is the maritime industry, with lockdowns forcing professionals to not go out and stay at home, or to stay isolated until they can be repatriated. Because maritime trade is such a big deal in particular to the economy, it has definitely caused waves that may not be beneficial.
That being said, let’s look at the possible future of maritime this year.
Status of maritime trade
Maritime trade may have declined by 4.1% last year because of the pandemic, but the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said that they expect it to make a comeback by 4.8% this year. It added, though, that it is dependent on the recovery of world economic output, and that the trajectory of recovery overtime remains to be seen. Despite this, they stressed that the role of maritime trade is important in maintaining normalcy (as best as possible) amid the pandemic.
Despite COVID-19 being the main focus, sustainability and environmental-consciousness should still be given importance. This is why there are many trends that focus on maintaining said sustainability efforts. Initiatives such as reducing carbon and sulfur emissions, using shore-to-ship power, and more can be done in order to prevent pollutants from harming both the environment and the people. In an era where public health is a major concern, the industry must do whatever it can to reduce the health risks involved in its operations.
Efforts to make everything more remote have already been done prior to the start of the pandemic. Back then, this was mainly for convenience’s sake, a way for professionals to process their requirements at the comfort of their home. But in the age where staying at home is encouraged and social distancing a must, we may be seeing more digital solutions that allow seafarers to process requirements, connect with their fellow professionals, and more while keeping safe from the pandemic.
As it’s still the start of the year, it may be hard to predict what will happen in the next 12 months. These are all just projections based on the data and the previous initiatives the industry has spearheaded. However, a for sure thing is that no matter what aspect of the industry there is, from operations to maritime training in the Philippines, expect major adjustments as we move towards a new normal as we know it.