Conventional wisdom a year ago was that the threat of a double-dip recession was passé. But then several externalities, including catastrophic weather events, came to the forefront and impacted the recovery of a fragile global economy. Even without the many natural calamities and geopolitical uncertainties that accentuated a nagging worldwide economic malaise, for shipping it was a stressful year.
Catastrophic weather in Japan, Thailand, Australia, and the United States interrupted global supply chains in unfathomable ways. The Arab Spring, though filled with hope, also brought a great sense of uncertainty, compounded by the Eurozone implosion and economic lethargy in the United States and other developed countries. No wonder the global maritime community breathed a collective sigh of relief as a new year waded in.