Barry Parker

Barry Parker

New York correspondent, Seatrade Maritime


Barry Parker is a New York-based maritime specialist and writer, associated with Seatrade since 1980. His early work was in drybulk chartering, and in the early 1990s he moved into shipping finance where he served as a deal-maker and analyst with a leading maritime merchant bank. Since the late 1990s he has worked for a group of select clients on various maritime projects, also remaining active as a writer.

US Energy policy, along with Donald Trump’s classic head-fakes, almost seems destined to confuse participants in the oil business, with obvious impacts on shipping which serves it.

Shortsea shipping has never really taken off in the US but the disruption caused to logistics by the likes of Amazon a new opportunity is being seen for palletized cargo transport within the States for last mile delivery of both consumer and industrial products.

In a sign of the times the Connecticut Maritime Association’s annual conference this week the fuel-related sessions were not relegated a rabbit warren of meeting rooms at the back but instead took centre stage in the Grand Ballroom.

IMO 2020 continues to dominate discussions in shipping the annual Capital Link conference in New York this week was no exception providing a variety of perspectives from across different sectors of shipping even if there an acknowledgement that “nobody knows” precisely what will happen.

Once in a while, a service provider engaged in projects with the maritime business actually brings real connections with its target market to its work. Take the NYC Maritime Hackathon 2019 The event, held in midtown New York, was produced in conjunction with the New York Maritime Innovation Center.

IMO 2020 is everywhere - conferences, expert briefings, webinars, blog posts, newsletter articles, ad ot has gone beyond the province of shipping industry insiders (and readers here) and certainly reached into the mainstream media. Witness two articles in the prestigious Financial Times (FT) within one week.

Maritime companies have generally failed to gain respect from investors. With a few exceptions, share prices are below the net asset values - a proxy for the liquidation value if a company could be broken up, assets sold, and debt paid off.

That peskiest of cabotage regimes, the almost 100-year-old ‘Jones Act’, US Federal legislation which reserves commerce along US coasts, and between the mainland, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and Alaska for US built, owned and crewed vessels, has again come into the spotlight.

There aren’t many things that both sides of the US political spectrum can agree on but the need to invest in domestic infrastructure one appear to be one of them.

Evercore ISI, the research arm of a top New York based investment bank, Webinar earlier this month was kicked off by oil analyst James West’s exultation of “signs of an emerging boom cycle for LNG liquefaction” with a “wave of new construction”.

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