Friday, October 16, 2009

Vessel Lay Ups And Truck Oversupply Mean Shipping Cutbacks Are Welcomed by Some

Who? Well Lawyers of Course !
Shipping News Feature

WORLDWIDE – Whilst the freight industry suffers its worse crisis for many a long year news reaches us of delight amongst the worlds legal eagles (some might say vultures) as they rebound from a long period of under demand.

The decline in demand for all modes of transport has produced a glut of recriminations from vessels not paid for and contracts reneged on. The position in Asia is particularly fraught with the Singapore based partner of a leading law firm describing the situation as “buoyant”, not an expression likely to endear him to the freight community at large.

According to several sources throughout the entire region their work has moved from occasional large contracts to a slew of renegotiations, arbitration and assistance in rescheduling debts to lenders. They report hiring staff, particularly trainees at near record rates to cope with the increasing number of transport related litigations.

Three of the regions major shipping lines reported an accumulated loss of around three quarters of a billion dollars this year, this and similar situations on a smaller scale throughout the industry, has led to cut backs in all areas, ship and truck fleet purchases delayed or cancelled. Despite the reduction in the normal demands on law firms, less ships means less maritime accidents, losses etc., the new work is leaving a smile on the faces of legal marine and transport specialists.

Pic: Dan Shingleton