Whatever happened to the typical short cycles in shipping markets? The industry seems to be defying conventional wisdom. Many respected analysts have since 2005 been forecasting imminent gloom, but any deterioration in global shipping markets was relatively benign in 2006. We need to recalibrate economic models to better reflect the impact of globalization on international shipping.
Traditional maritime economists may disagree, hut there are signs of an emerging paradigm shift in the sector. The boom that began in 2003 has completed four years and is unlikely to slow down in the near future-barring, of course, unforeseen calamitous events.
Although a far cry from 2004 (when all major markets reached their peaks concurrently). 2006 was. on the whole, good for the industry. The liner market in particular ended the year in the red, but overall 2006 was an improvement on the previous year. The fast-growing Asian economies, especially China and to some extent India, again provided fuel for increased world economic activity and trade.