Moore Stephens: Shipping Needs to Improve Risk Exposure Management

Effective management of risk within the shipping industry has improved slightly over the past 12 months, a survey by shipping adviser Moore Stephens showed.

However, shipping “still needs to up its game” in terms of managing its exposure to risk, which is increasing and changing in nature, not least in terms of the threat posed by cyber security.

Respondents to the survey rated the extent to which enterprise and business risk management is contributing to the success of their organisation at an average 6.8 out of a possible score of 10, compared to 6.6 last time. Charterers returned the highest rating (8.8) in this regard, followed by owners (6.9) and ship managers (6.8). Brokers returned the lowest rating at 6.3. Geographically, Europe (7.0) was ahead of Asia (6.6), but it was the Middle East which returned the highest figure, at 7.8.

Overall, respondents rated the extent to which enterprise and business risk was being managed effectively by their organisations at 7.1 out of 10, up from the rating of 7 recorded last time and indeed in the inaugural survey in August 2015. Charterers (8.8) expressed the highest level of confidence in this regard, followed by owners (7.3) and managers (6.9). In the previous survey, charterers recorded the lowest rating (6.5) of the main respondent types.

Demand trends were deemed by the greatest number of respondents to pose the highest level of risk, closely followed by competition and the cost and availability of finance. Demand trends were thought to pose the highest level of risk for owners, charterers and brokers, while for managers it was competition that topped the list.

Geographically, demand trends were the number one concern in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, while respondents in Latin America and North America identified competition as posing the highest level of risk.

Moore Stephens informed that respondents to the survey felt that the level of risk posed by most of the factors which impacted their business would remain largely unchanged over the next 12 months, with the exception of ballast water management legislation, cyber security, geopolitics, operating costs and other changes to laws and regulations, which were all perceived to have the potential for increased risk.

“Embedding proper and effective risk management controls into daily operating procedures is a huge challenge for companies in the shipping sector, where high risk levels are an accepted and fundamental part of the industry,” Michael Simms, Partner, said.

“This is particularly the case, as is now, when the industry is ultra-competitive and grappling with an imbalance in tonnage supply and demand, and when wider global economic conditions remain extremely tough,” Simms added.

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