An analyst's work is about comparisons, says BIMCO's Peter Sand, and that is how leaders must measure themselves
Peter Sand is one of shipping’s athletes, those who like to push themselves and others to be a little bit better each day.
BIMCO’s* chief shipping analyst made the big decision to analyse the impact of the trade war between the US and China, a huge task involving multiple inputs, from which he was able to give insights in the BIMCO reports, while being mindful that in a cyclical industry like shipping it is easy to be distracted by spikes and miss the trends.
Being consistent is one of his requirements to himself.
As an economist by training, he feels the mark of financial sustainability is when all costs are covered by a company with some profit left to reinvest.
In terms of a recovery, each sector will be different: “Margins will remain low, as they have been in shipping traditionally. No super boom will come around [soon],” was his opinion on the prospects of the market.
And he warns to be wary of algorithms; being in awe of the ability to crunch huge amounts of data does not always result in a sensible answer.
BIMCO is heavily involved in the greenhouse gas debate, both at IMO and internally.
The organisation believes the 50% reduction in emissions by 2050 is possible, but it will be a very different fleet.
With regards to the work of a shipping analyst, the key, according to Mr Sand, is to constantly evolve the way you work.
The fundamentals of collection, analysis, interpretation and communication remain the same as the methods and technology evolve.
Ever the athlete, he says: “You need to keep yourself at your best, by upping your standards. If you don’t, some bright youngster may catch you on the eternal ascent towards the top.”
* BIMCO is one of the world’s largest international shipping associations with around 2,000 members, including shipowners, operators, managers, brokers and agents.