In 2004, the world's maritime community was euphoric with healthy market conditions prevailing in every related sector. It was the best year in decades, with all three major shipping markets-tanker, liner, and bulk-reaching concurrent highs and every major shipyard in the world fully booked for the next three years. While the cyclical nature of shipping markets was never in question, what was uncertain was how precipitous the market decline would be after the 2004 historic highs. Last year's annual review predicted good conditions well into 2005, barring any unforeseen circumstances. Despite some extraordinarily calamitous events, the year proved to be yet another good one for the maritime industry.
U.S. Merchant Marine and Maritime Industry Review
By Dr. Shashi Kumar