The greatest share of the world’s produce is transported by container ships. Due to the large capacity and relatively low costs of shipment, the marine industry remains the most efficient way of global trade. According to the International Chamber of Shipping, the world fleet amounts 50 thousand merchant ships, and the number continues to grow. Based on the estimates, annual shipping activity generates more than half a trillion US dollars.
Yet it is hard to foretell an unclouded future. Old and outdated systems, overcapacity and lack of trust aggravated by human errors, confusing documentation or even off-specs products have a crucial influence over the further development of the shipping business. These problems, along with growing public demands for transparency, responsibility and accountability push business owners to seek new solutions, often accompanied by rising costs.
Bureaucracy is another challenge that hits the industry. Managing claims leads to a great deal of paperwork that requires multiple signatures. Having all this stress considered, even a tiny disruption in the network can lead to delays, higher costs or deliveries to the wrong recipient.
On top of all this, the whole shipping community has never been on the same page for the issues related to financial operations. Obviously, shipping business owners face a lot of posers, but the following 5 can be especially overwhelming.
The whole world is aware of the dangers lurking off the Somalia coast and the Gulf of Aden. The incidents of pirate attacks against the ships are not a rare occasion. Frequent armed robberies result in huge financial losses and shipment delays, let alone that they put in danger the crew of the ships. The consequences for the shipping businesses can be tragic, especially for small companies.
A great deal of thievery cases falls for hacker activity. As a critically important infrastructure, the shipping industry is constantly threatened by cyber-attacks. With growing automation and the introduction of up-to-date tech, the exposure to a cyber-threat will continue to increase. The industry needs additional financing to enhance security, which constitutes another challenge for shipment companies.
There is an all growing concern over the shipping business impact on air pollution, the greenhouse effect and possible dangers to the aquatic flora and fauna. January of 2020 was marked by the new environmental regulations requiring ships to decrease their sulfur exhaust from the previously allowed maximum of 3.5% to 0.5%. For the shipping companies, it will mean switching to new low-sulfur fuel or fitting exhaust scrubbers. In any case, the procedure is quite expensive and troublesome, so business owners will have to sink a lot of money to meet these requirements.
Job Cuts and Labor Disputes
No one can forget February 2015 when the shipping business was stalled by a dockworkers slowdown on the West Coast. Or the incident that happened in December of the same year, when for several months the Alcoa’s (a global mining giant) ship was held hostage by Maritime Union of Australia, obstructing the operations of the Portland’s port. Repeatedly, striking workers and labor disputes have undermined the whole marine industry and put smaller shipping businesses even at greater risk.
Blows of Fate
When it comes to thinking about business challenges, personal problems rarely receive enough credit. But as odd as it sounds, such a trivial thing as divorce can quickly change the game – hardly to your advantage. Emotional crisis, legal fees, stressful litigations can bring disruptions into business, while multiple court divorce forms cause even more complications.
The very first solution that occurs is to hire a professional to let them deal with the hassle. However, insane attorney fees can make the whole divorce process unbearable for the small shipping business owners who just try to make both ends meet.
“I took a risk and used a divorce website to help me with my paperwork,” says Mike Walberg, an owner of a shipping company trying to find its footing. Not only did he avoid losing the business, but even started expanding after the divorce.
How did he know that he could entrust completion of his divorce paper to this service? Let’s see what he has to tell:
“If I were to give advice on how to choose the best divorce service, I’d say the following. Make sure that these guys pay a hell of attention to details. If they give you an explicit questionnaire to make sure that everything is covered, stay on call 24/7 and inform you about every step they make, then you are set.”