Inflation of ship operating costs has accelerated in 2022 due to growing macroeconomic pressures globally, even though costs related to Covid-19 have decreased, according to the latest Ship Operating Costs Annual Review and Forecast 2022 report. /23 by Drewry, which estimates that average daily operating costs across the 47 ship types and sizes covered in the report increased for the fifth consecutive year to reach $7,474 in 2022, an increase of 2.2%. This compares with a much smaller increase of 1.3% last year and a pre-pandemic trend of flat or falling costs. While overall pressures on rates remain, ship overhead inflation is expected to moderate in the medium term.
"The increase in operating expenses was mainly due to the inflation of the prices of goods and services in the maritime transport sector, as well as the disruption of the supply chain caused by the Covid-19 virus pandemic," says Latifat Igbinosun, Drewry´s head of ship operating expense research. "Cost inflation was contained last year, especially in terms of repair and maintenance, as shipowners took advantage of the resumption of trade growth and rising revenues from ships to keep them in service for more However, ships returned to shipyards this year, driving up costs."
A large part of the increase in operating expenses in 2022 was due to lubricant costs, which increased 15% due to limited supply from refineries and high oil prices. Costs of marine insurance coverage also increased, rising 8% on average, after rising 7% in 2021, driven by the tightening of the insurance market and the increase in the value of ships in some sectors that pushed up hull and machinery (H&M) premiums.
Cost inflation was also evident in other overhead items. For example, “drying” costs increased 6% in 2022 due to limited available schedules as shipyards opted for profitable new orders and modernization projects. For their part, warehouse costs and spare parts increased by 2% each, while personnel costs remained stable due to the elimination of some costs related to Covid-19.
Cost increases were widespread across all major freight transport sectors. The latest evaluations include vessels from the container, bulk, refined products, crude oil, LNG, LPG, general cargo, refrigerated, Ro-Ro and car carrier sectors.
Looking ahead, in the short term, a slowdown is expected in many maritime routes, with the exception of energy-related commodity routes, such as oil and gas, which will significantly affect the budgets available for spending on ship operations in the coming years. Drewry expects downward cost pressure to remain in those areas where shipowners have the most control, but increased seafarer availability and ongoing decarbonization regulations are expected to add to the burden. of costs in the medium term.
"The outlook for ship operating costs remains uncertain given current geopolitical risks, rising inflationary pressures and deteriorating economic prospects," Igbinosun added. "However, Drewry sees some moderation in operating expense inflation as pressures on certain key costs, such as marine insurance and dry docking, recede, despite the risk of higher wage costs for people in sea in light of an impending officer shortage.
TAKEN FROM: Mundo Marítimo
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