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January 2 2023

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62 Journal of Commerce | J anuar y 2, 2023 EXECUTIVE COMMENTARY ANNUAL REVIEW & OUTLOOK 2023 Maritime urgency to address the growing need for mariners. Toepfer Transport Yorck Niclas Prehm Head of Research One of the key mantras of good entre - preneurship is "don't put all your eggs into one basket." In 2022, the Europeans learned what happens if one does not adhere to this rule and the consequential impact on the macroeconomic environment and the energy markets is well-known. The European-dominated multi-purpose vessel (MPV) and breakbulk market is strongly affected by the due conclusions that (hopefully) will be made after learning this tough lesson. The unlawful Russian war on Ukraine and the steadily increasing tension in the Far East will make many mar - ket stakeholders reconsider various plans and decisions. This may cause changes to well- established supply chains and induce reconsideration of where the necessary supply of new MPV vessels will come from. More than 25 percent of the MPV fleet will reach the end of its eco - nomic lifespan within the next five to ten years, and there is only a capacity of three percent of the fleet in the orderbook. Keeping in mind the basket and the eggs, it is notable that almost 100 percent of this orderbook will be built in one single country, which is right in the center of the above-mentioned geopolitical tensions. Furthermore, a huge portion of the MPV fleet is owned, controlled, and operated from the same country. These ships are essential to meet the political targets for the green energy transi - tion, as they form the backbone of the transportation of the required technology. In 2023, the key task for the industry will be to discuss and to establish solutions to reduce potential geographical cluster risks and to deal with the challenges of a volatile geopolitical environment. need for a healthy supply of mariners essential for our national economy and defense? First, we need a national mar - keting campaign to attract people to the mariner profession. The US Mari- time Administration should lead this effort, as it is central to its mission to foster, promote, and develop the US maritime industry. Second, we need to work with industry to build programs and path - ways for K–12 students that generate awareness about the opportunities within the maritime industry. By doing this, we can build robust mari - time workforce pipelines. Third, we need to incentivize current and future mariners to con - tinue to sail. This could include tax incentives and college/trade school debt forgiveness for mariners that sail on their licenses for a reasonable period and frequency. These and other definitive steps must be taken with a sense of academies are experiencing a decline in enrollment and students electing to participate in the mer - chant marine license programs. There are several well-documented reasons for this decline: • Demographic shifts in the US pop - ulation of school-age children • Changes in attitudes about the value of higher education • High cost of college and the economy • Lingering impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic The short-term result is that there are fewer high school gradu - ates and fewer choosing to attend college, and still fewer interested in a regimented environment at the maritime academies. The long-term impact is that there will continue to be a decline in the total number of licensed mariners graduating each year. At the same time, there will be an increased demand for mariners. What should be done to address the The Lambos Firm, LLP Carol Notias Lambos Partner At the height of the pandemic with emerging supply chain challenges causing impediments to the efficient transportation of containerized cargo, this essayist noted that such challenges could be met by embracing informa- tion sharing in a safe and secure way to manage supply chain velocity. While this advice is still sound, merely embracing information sharing will not provide the panacea to supply chain challenges as seen in 2022. Cargo trans- portation is, and will always remain, a non-virtual and hands-on business of schlepping cargo all over the world that requires a place of rest at ports of origin and destination. The record cargo volumes handled at ports in the United States during the past year vividly demonstrate the cascading effect on the supply chain when compet - ing interests seek access to the same limited marine terminal space. Unprecedented increases in import container dwell times, rail yard dwell times, and the number of empty containers on marine terminals resulted from these competing needs, followed by the phenomenon of mul- tiple vessels at anchorage waiting for berth space as well as congestion at access roads into and within marine terminals. While there has been a great deal of finger-pointing, chal- lenges in supply chain fluidity are not driven by a lack of readily available cargo information. The genesis of these challenges lies in infrastructure bottlenecks, limited options for alter- native cargo storage, and entrenched behaviors preventing the utilization of extended marine terminal hours. Cargo transportation stakeholders must investigate inland solutions for loads and empty container storage options that will allow for the expe - ditious removal of cargo from marine terminals. While information sharing is a useful tool that can assist in terminal fluidity and velocity, it cannot create more space at terminals. Accordingly, plans to regulate cargo information sharing, while well-intentioned, will not address the low-tech problem of finding alternative space for cargo storage nor will they convince stakeholders to utilize readily available information. Government regulation of the dissemination of the cargo information will be difficult to implement and of limited value. "While information sharing is a useful tool that can assist in terminal fluidity and velocity, it cannot create more space at terminals." ▶ "In 2023, the key task for the industry will be to discuss and to establish solutions to reduce potential geographical cluster risks and to deal with the challenges of a volatile geopolitical environment." Yorck Niclas Prehm

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