Last year, 2020 has been a year of chaos, changes and uncertainty. Many countries are experiencing an economic hardship, as they try to adjust to the coronavirus (Covid-19), that seem to not be leaving anytime soon. People and organizations are forced to continue with life, and proceed with the daily operations to build back the world’s economy. The world cannot pause for the virus to dissolve before we continue to get on with our lives. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development(UNCTAD) estimates that global maritime trade will plunge by 4.1% in 2020 due to COVID-19. Despite the negatives, we must rise, and find a way to recover. The road to recovery for the maritime industry will be difficult, but it is a sector that requires strategic planning and implementation of workable measures that are likely to build back the industry once executed properly.
Like you, we are all anticipating a Covid-19 free world to get back to the norms of our lives. Sadly, we are all unsure as to when we will get there. With different vaccines being made, and people taking them, hopefully we will see a reduction in the cases soon. The maritime industry is affected because international trade is decreasing. Because vessels were unable to leave ports, and were unable to dock at other country’s ports as borders keep closing once the cases of Covid-19 starts increasing. UNCTAD postulated that “Amid supply-chain disruptions, demand contractions, and global economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic, the global economy was severely affected by a twin supply and demand shock”. The continued- “These trends unfolded against the backdrop of an already weaker 2019 that saw international maritime trade lose further momentum. Lingering trade tensions and high policy uncertainty undermined growth in global economic output and merchandise trade.
Since the pandemic organizations have adapted the online platform for everything. We have recognized the importance of digitization. People within maritime sector needs to shift their focus to digitization. We have witnessed how outdated some, or most of the resources that we utilize within the sector are. To avoid the transmission of viruses, we should go paperless to transact business, by making files digital. In doing this, we would: save time, money, make them easier to retrieve and again, prevent cross-contamination. We are still uncertain as to where we go from here, or what will transpire further on. However, the first step to recovery is digitization.