Similar sentiment from this year's Maritime Cyprus conference – plenty of gloom and doom of course about medium term prospects from the market but it's also clear that if we're nothing else, shipping folk are opportunists.
Yes, we got ourselves into this mess through over-ordering. But, as Clarksons’ Martin Stopford made abundantly clear, there’s plenty of cargo around and world sea trade is forecast to grown by yet another 32% over the next decade. That’s good news isn’t it? Okay, so the already swollen world fleet is also set to grow by some 46%, but, blimey, it could be worse. Imagine if cargo volumes had tumbled as we all thought they would.
Getting back on track – we’re in an optimistic frame of mind – don’t you get fed up with being fed up? There was a real sense of déjà vu, or is it déjà entendu, as many in Cyprus “couldn’t understand” why the mainstream media aren’t interested in the good news story we in shipping have to tell. Hello?! I thought we all understood that the media aren’t interested in good news..?
So, thank goodness for branding expert Peter Economides from FELIX BNI (www.felixbni.com). You see, when Peter ate his mother’s cookies as a child, he wasn’t interested that they had great flour in them – it’s just an ingredient. And so, he pointed out, is shipping …an essential ingredient in world trade. Why on earth should the general public know anything about it? But, said Peter, imagine how much they’d miss shipping if it wasn’t there. Check out this YouTube film (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8_zgPzIl4A) and you’ll see just what he means. You might even remember the film from your childhood!
Or, he said, flip it over and show them just what a meaningful role shipping plays in their lives. Peter prepared a short filmy adverty kind of thing and sent everyone at the conference away feeling great about themselves and the industry we all work in. You’d be amazed what “comes by a ship” when put in Peter’s words. Come on Peter, put a copy on YouTube and we can all spread the word!