January 23 - Writing on Intermarine's website, the company's president and CEO Andre Grikitis says that to date, project carriers have not felt the full effects of a declining worldwide economy.

This segment of the shipping industry may not be as devastated by this pronounced economic downturn, but enjoys no immunity from the negative consequences that will follow.

"How do we, as an industry, guard against the potentially crippling effects of a worldwide recession?" he asks. Effective communication is vital between project owners, planners and providers throughout the entire transportation cycle. The industry must be adaptable.

"Since the world is now experiencing unprecedented events, I expect the unexpected will be part of the near term landscape. The ability to avoid rash decisions, conflicts and disputes that seem to manifest themselves in turbulent times is imperative, otherwise imprudent behaviour will result in misplaced energies," he says.

The functioning of an experienced, trained and efficient staff will now be particularly important to respond to an unprecedented number of contractual changes. As corporate budgets are tightened, the decision to invest in personnel development will now face increased internal scrutiny and, perhaps, opposition.

"Summing up, we all need to be on high alert in these rough seas and continue to promote the fundamentals and nuances of our business. Those with broad and deep experience, market knowledge gained over time, and proven stability must keep a firm grasp on the wheel and be prepared to weather the storm," he concludes.