Global ship operating expenses (OPEX) for the world’s cargo fleet have now breached USD 100 billion mark for the first time, up from USD 98 billion last year and USD 83 billion in 2008, maritime intelligence provider Clarksons Research said.
Crew wages remain to be the largest constituent in the total expense reaching USD 43 billion, which is being distributed to 1.4 million crew across the fleet.
Management fees are in the second place claiming a USD 9.2 bn portion of the OPEX total, Clarksons’ data shows, followed by repairs with USD 7.7bn, spares with USD 7bn, stores and lubricants with around USD 5 bn respectively. Furthermore, USD 4.6 bn is being assigned to insurance, USD 3.4 bn on protection and indemnity (P&I) with provisions standing at USD 3.2 bn.
A total of USD 4.3 bn was allotted for sundries and USD 6.9 bn for other crew costs.
Shipping industry players are under a lot of pressure to reduce costs across the board in order to remain competitive, especially after the past couple of years that saw losses in offshore sector, container and dry bulk shipping industry, and now spreading into the tanker sector.
“Getting smarter, collecting and using “big data” and technology and automation are all gaining traction. The industry’s fuel bill (accounted for outside of OPEX) is clearly a big target,” Clarksons said.
“This will all require new technology, skills and perhaps new accounting approaches.”