Moore Stephens: Vessel Operating Costs to Rise in 2017 and 2018

Vessel operating costs are expected to increase in both 2017 and 2018, according to the latest survey by international account and shipping consultant Moore Stephens.

Repairs & maintenance and spares are the cost categories which are likely to increase most significantly in each of the two years.

The survey, based on responses from key players in the international shipping industry, predominantly shipowners and managers in Europe and Asia, revealed that vessel operating costs are likely to rise by 2.1% in 2017 and by 2.4% in 2018.

The cost of repairs & maintenance is expected to increase by 2.0% in both 2017 and 2018, while expenditure on spares is predicted to rise by 2.0% in 2017 and by 1.9% in 2018. Drydocking expenditure, meanwhile, is expected to increase by 1.7% and 1.8% in 2017 and 2018 respectively.

The survey revealed that the outlay on crew wages is expected to increase by 1.7% in each of the years under review, with other crew costs thought likely to go up by 1.6% in 2017 and 1.5% in 2018.

The increase in expenditure for lubricants is expected to be 1.6% in both 2017 and 2018. Meanwhile, projected increases in stores are 1.5% and 1.7% in the two years under review, while management fees are expected to rise by 0.7% and 1.0% in 2017 and 2018 respectively.

The cost of hull and machinery insurance is predicted to rise by 0.5% and 1.0% in 2017 and 2018 respectively, while for P&I insurance the projected increases are 0.7% and 1.1% respectively.

The predicted overall cost increases were highest in the offshore sector, where they averaged 4.8% and 3.8% respectively for 2017 and 2018. By way of contrast, predicted cost increases in the container ship sector were just 1.1% and 0.8% for the corresponding years.

Operating costs for bulk carriers, meanwhile, are expected to rise by 1.9% in 2017, and by 2.4% the following year, while the corresponding figures for tankers are 2.1% and 2.7%.

 “Crew costs are 60% of our operating expenditure, and weigh heavily when there is high demand for – but a limited supply of – manpower and when employers are required to meet increasingly onerous requirements,” a respondent is quoted as saying.

 “Most shipping companies, but especially those operating tankers and chemical and gas carries, are facing the prospect of increases in costs through 2018 for hiring qualified crew,” another respondent added.

The increasing cost of regulatory compliance was referenced by a number of respondents.

“Retrofitting vessels with technology which has not been fully vetted for compliance with existing and new regulation can destroy cashflow,” another respondent said.

Respondents were asked to identify the three factors that would most affect operating costs over the next 12 months., Overall, 21% of respondents (similar to last year’s survey) identified finance costs as the most significant factor, followed by crew supply, which stood at 19% and displaced competition in second place.

“Predicted increases in operating expenditure are a matter of concern for any industry, and particularly one such as shipping in which a range of factors have conjoined in recent years to inhibit (and, in some cases, eradicate) profit margins. But shipping has seen a lot worse. If it does transpire that operating costs rise by 2.4% in 2018, for example, that will still be less than one-sixth of the actual operating cost increases absorbed by the industry ten years previously,”Richard Greiner, Moore Stephens Partner, Shipping & Transport, says.

“It is significant that, for the first time, new regulations were included in the list of factors which respondents could cite as most likely to influence the level of operating costs over the next 12 months. It was even more significant, perhaps, that 15% of respondents did indeed identify the cost of regulatory compliance as a major consideration when weighing future operating cost increases. The Ballast Water Management convention, now with an extended implementation window, is still potentially the most expensive item on the menu, but by no means the only one. Tellingly, one respondent referred to new regulations which ‘most of the time are unclear and indefinite.’

“Elsewhere, there were some interesting predicted cost increases in the individual market sectors. The offshore industry, for example, is predicted to be facing increases of 3.5% in crew wages for 2018, compared to the 1.4% predicted for bulkers and the 0.7% for container ships. Indeed, the offshore sector is facing the biggest increases in operating costs in the next two years in every category of expenditure covered by the survey.

“Offshore is going to be a challenging sector for operators and investors alike for some time to come, and the survey reveals exactly why a year can be a long time in shipping. “

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

Share this article

Follow World Maritime News

In Depth>


<< Nov 2017 >>
30 31 1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 1 2 3

Maritime Information Warfare 2017

Maritime Information Warfare will focus on the growing need for navies to develop their information exploitation capabilities…

read more >


The Summit will gather key marine experts and companies around the globe which have a big influence in the industry…

read more >

The CWC 18th Annual World LNG Summit & Awards Evening

The CWC World LNG Summit will continue to give you access to premium networking opportunities as it brings together the who’s who…

read more >

Marintec China 2017

The largest maritime event in Asia Pacific, Marintec China connects maritime professionals from the entire shipbuilding supply chain together.

Over the years, Marintec China has grown to reflect the size and importance of the Asian maritime market. 2015 event is another record-breaking edition with the largest exhibition area and the highest number of industry professionals attending ever. The encouraging figures proven that China remains one of the major shipbuilding nations and Marintec China has been the most authoritative platform in Asia.

With the maritime industry facing great opportunities but also many challenges, it is important for the industry to connect and engage more to ultimately win new business in globally-significant markets. A visit to Marintec China is a great way to learn about the latest technology and innovation of the supply industry, a platform for industry professional to meet face to face, make connection and do business.

Marintec China is poised to be the definitive event and is undoubtedly a must-attend for all involved in the maritime industry.

Marintec China will be held from 5 to 8 December 2017 at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre in Shanghai, China and continue its dedication to serve as the “LEADING” platform “CONNECTING” the community and “STRENGTHENING” the maritime industry.

Marintec China offers the perfect opportunity for companies serving the maritime market to showcase their innovations, products and services to a wide audience. A platform for face to face meetings in business, creating new relationships and consolidating existing ones.

More info

read more >