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In the past decade we had 6 years of media commentators before and after the UK referendum vote commentating on the whys and the wherefores and everything else in between of what the consequences are going to be.  And still nobody knows.  We never will until it happens.  They are just opinions and predictions for the entertainment of the masses.

Those 6 years have been immediately followed by, and are now running in tandem with, those same commentators giving everyone who will pay attention, their outlook on the Covid-19 situation.  Once again they are just opinions and predictions for the entertainment of the masses.

Every month at the Solar Solve board meeting there is an item on the agenda ‘State of the global Marine Industry’ when the MD and the Chairman report on events that have happened since the last meeting, which they feel could have an influence on this subject in the future.  I reiterate ‘in the future’ because we assume that we know the current state of the industry we serve at the time of the meeting.

To help us to make a decent guess, we refer to facts and opinions from specialists within the maritime sector and generally they are experts in the field.  They do not waffle to make their report longer or particularly entertaining because their readers just want the information to use as a decision-making tool.

For those of us who are very proud to be associated with the global marine industry it is disappointing that very few people in the world realise just how important the maritime sector is and the very significant part it plays in the success of the worldwide economy.  It isn’t perceived as being crucial and therefore never used as a topic for night time entertainment, unless there has been some sort of maritime disaster of course, when our experts are suddenly in big demand.

However, in the context of accumulating accurate and relevant information for us to guess at what the state of our industry is going to be like a year or so down the line, we like it just the way it is.  Although there are often differences in some of the data published by the information providers, it tends to be only slight.  Most of them glean their data from the same sources of ship builders and shipowners for example and give short sharp opinions based on those facts.

The good news in the current reports is that there are substantial orders for new vessels being placed with some yards having allocated most of their building slots for the next couple of years. There have been some casualties but earlier reports of a potential shipbuilding slump appear to be unfounded.  This kind of reliable information makes life easy for us to compile our statement from but when all is said and done, Good News or otherwise, they are only opinions and predictions, just not for entertainment.

JHL MBE SSL Co. Chairman