January 13 - According to global shipping association BIMCO, regulatory burdens concerning the environment, maritime security and the supply and demand imbalance with newbuilding orders reaching "worrying" levels, are some of the critical issues facing th

In its newly published "Reflections 2014" report the association highlights that "the steady improvement of the global economy is bettering the outlook for shipping, as demand goes up and fleet expansion growth cools off, the market fundamentals are expected to improve across the board. Windows of sustainable earnings are likely to occur more often going forward.

"But the regulatory burdens, notably those seeking to address environmental pressures, remain major challenges to the industry's cost base at a time when resources are limited. This includes massive challenges on sulphur limits, ship efficiency, ballast water treatment and NOx regulation."

In his accompanying message to Reflections 2014, BIMCO president John Denholm said: "A worrying amount of ordering is taking place, adding tonnage to an already excessive world fleet. This will delay a return to a balance between supply and demand and hence the long awaited market recovery.

"To add insult to injury, the ever increasing regulatory requirements impose significant costs on our industry at a time when it can ill afford them."

"The piracy situation is dynamic, and despite attacks in the Gulf of Aden and Somali basin dwindling the situation could reverse and the shipping industry must not drop its guard."