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Constant monitoring of the state of the global marine industry and trying to predict what it will be like at some point in the future, is a major task for those of us who work in it and rely on such knowledge to plan ahead for the organisations who employ us.  It is not easy and like all predictions, there is a lot of guesswork.

The task can only be completed effectively and efficiently, in my opinion, by carrying out a whole lot of research and therein lies the problem.  Just like UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been experiencing over the last 18 months, it is impossible to get everyone to agree on just about anything, never mind the specialist subject that they are supposed to be experts in.

As the researcher, you are destined to be the ultimate decision maker, by way of what you put into and conclude, in your final report on the subject.  You have to wade through all of the evidence, theories, facts, figures, opinions, etc, with much of it being conflicting in terms of final outcome and then make sense of it all.

Who you believe, what you believe and what you put into your report, will probably end up being an educated guess that may include a mish mash of the varying opinions.  Reference to some of the discrepancies may make the report look accurate but are unlikely to be very helpful when it comes to the ‘what action we should take’ decision.

If you have the option of escaping having to make the actual decision, by simply presenting your report, then lucky you.  If you have to decide what direction your organisation is going to move in by way of investment in manpower, production capacity, machinery, logistics and much more, as I do, then that can be extremely hard with a lot of associated pressure.

Fortunately, one of the tools I find very useful is the BRL WEEKLY NEWBUILDING CONTRACTS.  The report is published by BRL Data, part of BRL Shipping Consultants, whose website is

The guy with all of the excellent knowledge is Barry Luthwaite and the following statement is taken from his organisation’s website:-

BRL is an established and respected supplier of essential maritime data, reports and consultancy.
Continual investment in information technologies has kept BRL in the vanguard of maritime data services. Our reputation is for providing insightful and leading marine intelligence that enables our customers to make informed market decisions.

There are other extremely well respected organisations also involved with supplying the international maritime sector with all sorts of fascinating, useful and indeed, vital information.  We do use their services occasionally, especially if a forthcoming decision is going to be vital in some way.  However, on a daily basis, the information we get from BRL Data suits us best.

At the time of writing this blog, I was so excited about what Barry had to say in this week’s report, which reinforces what he has been saying for the last few months, that I have finalised some of Solar Solve’s future plans, based on his observations.

John H Lightfoot MBE