In our annual survey of the shipping industry, TradeWinds asked a selection of top industry figures about their expectations for the year ahead.

This time around, the IMO deadline set for next new year is central to the outlook for 2019, as ships will have to either burn low sulphur fuel or install scrubbers by 1 January.

Asked about the impact of the new rules, respondents pointed to both challenges and potential upside of IMO 2020. And some sectors were more focused on the potential difficulties than others.

Here is a sector-by-sector look:

Bulker players see optimism in disruption for the year ahead

Many bulker owners and operators see positive signs as the sector prepares to meet new IMO regulations before this year ends.

Containerships to face sulphur cap challenges in year ahead

Containership industry participants see a year of disruption and challenges as the sector prepares for compliance with 2020 fuel rules.

Tanker sector licks lips for 'positive disruption'

While compliance with looming sulphur rules may provide supply-side support by taking ships out of the market for retrofit or demolition, tankers are also expected to see a shift in trade lanes.

Allure of cleaner fuel supports gas sector optimism

The IMO sulphur cap that enters for on 1 January is giving the LNG shipping sector another reason for optimism. After all, regulators are demanding cleaner fuel and LNG is cleaner fuel.

IMO 2020 brings mixed outlook for shipbuilders and manufacturers

As ships head to drydock for retrofits ahead of the IMO's new sulphur emissions rules, executives at shipyards offering varying forecasts for the year ahead.

Ship services sectors finds opportunity and challenges in IMO 2020

So significant a change as the coming IMO emissions rules will require strong advice, and shipmanagers and other service providers are aiming to provide it. But the sulphur cap also presents difficulties.