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.

Scorpio Group’s massive about turn on scrubbers to order 146 exhaust gas cleaning units for its tanker and bulker fleets is a “commercial opportunity to burn cheap fuel”, according to the shipowner’s managing director.

The availability of capital, both equity and debt, is a perennial discussion and has two particular areas of focus at present - for consolidation and green loans for retrofits to meet environmental regulations.

The IMO 2020 clock is ticking - as 1 January 2020 looms closer, now little more than one year away, interest in scrubbers seems to have surged. Most notably, a number of public companies have joined the scrubber fray, leading financial analysts, rather than purely technical types, to look closely at their economics.

In early September, the US Government Accountability Office (GAO), released a report, which had been written in response to a request from legislator, to review efforts underway on modernising the Great Lakes- Seaway System, which has seen declines in traffic over the past decades.

To a large extent, the maritime sector “dodged the bullet” as the 2018 storm season came to the southeastern US with Hurricane Florence.

The nearby spot rates for chartering large LNG carriers have been soaring at a time when future US export projects, fueling forward activity, continue to be given the “green-light”.

The business of offshore drilling and exploration, a close cousin of shipping, continues to generate business combinations, also known as “consolidation”, against the backdrop of worldwide economic strength and oil prices remaining in their sweet spot between $60 per barrel and $80 per barrel.

The toxic political climate in the States has impacted matters related to shipbuilding, the Jones Act and other maritime matters.

Almost three weeks after the Tidewater (TDW) and Gulfmark Offshore (GLF) combination deal, contemplating issuance of new Tidewater shares to pay GulfMark shareholders, an unsolicited third-party emerged, in the form of US Gulf powerhouse Harvey Gulf International Marine (HGIM).

Many things have changed since 1973, when the 1st edition of “The Business of Shipping” was published by the Cornell Maritime Press (now part of Schiffer Publishing). The 9th edition of this commercial classic was launched in July 2018,10 years after the previous edition, authored by Ira Breskin- a one-time transportation reporter who is now a teacher at the highly regarded SUNY Fort Schuyler- the New York maritime academy.

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