While for many of us summer is a time of relaxation and pleasure, spare a thought for those toiling in the blistering sun to earn their living, such as shipyard workers.
This summer has been exceptionally hot across the northern hemisphere, not least in several regions of China where temperatures have regularly breached 40C.
The oppressive heat has prompted some Chinese shipyards to declare force majeure in anticipation of delays due to measures being taken to protect workers from conditions that have been described by some on the ground as hot enough to fry an egg sunny side up.
Next up, a sobering statistic (for some): not one VLCC newbuilding has been contracted in the last year. Indeed, this is the longest period without a VLCC being built in 25 years. Fuel uncertainty, low earnings and soaring steel prices are among the main culprits for the ordering reticence.
Meanwhile, while it may be considered a niche market, the car carrier sector is red hot at the moment. Eastern Pacific Shipping demonstrated just as much by tying down a one-year contract for one of its car carriers at more than $100,000 per day, meaning the Idan Ofer-controlled firm will pocket $36.5m in gross revenue.
The ‘historic’ deal applies to the contract length as well as the rate, according to commentators.
And finally, the war on Ukraine has displaced millions, and among those fleeing are seafarers, brokers and maritime executives. Many have ended up in nearby Greece, where a Ukrainian seafaring expat community has been growing.
One Ukrainian shipping executive estimated there were about 500 such emigres in Athens, presumably eagerly awaiting the end of Russia’s gratuitous offensive on their country.